Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First Global Ocean-Color Images From New Sensor Show Promise For Climate, Biological Studies

Date:
September 25, 1997
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
Exciting ocean-color images from the Sea-viewing Wide Field- of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) -- the first readily available ocean-color data in more than ten years -- should play a major role in studying the ongoing El Nino and in other global warming research.

Exciting ocean-color images from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) -- the first readily available ocean-color data in more than ten years -- should play a major role in studying the ongoing El Nino and in other global warming research.

The SeaWiFS data also is giving scientists their first continuous look at the global biosphere -- the combination of living organisms and their environment. Ocean color is largely determined by the concentration of microscopic marine plants called phytoplankton. Accurately measuring phytoplankton concentration is important to climate change research and to local economic concerns such as commercial fishing.

"The images are more than we ever could have hoped for," said oceanographer Dr. Gene C. Feldman, who heads SeaWiFS's data processing team at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. "Although originally designed to just study the oceans, we've also discovered a way of using it to study the land as well, and as a result, we can study the global biosphere for the very first time."

"The new images clearly show areas of coastal upwelling along the northwest U.S., Argentina and western South Africa. These upwelling events foster dramatic plankton blooms which are a critical source of food for major fisheries. The data will be extremely valuable for fisheries management," said Dr. Charles McClain, SeaWiFS Project Scientist.

SeaWiFS offers great potential for monitoring oceanic conditions that have serious, and often tragic, effects on human health. Coastal blooms of algae have been associated with cholera outbreaks around the world. Early detection of these blooms, and subsequent in-water sampling, may significantly reduce the impact of these outbreaks. Red tides, ocean dumping of organic and chemical waste, and perhaps even oil spills can be tracked with SeaWiFS data, Feldman said.

With SeaWiFS, NASA is leading an international collaboration of researchers. More than 300 scientists representing 35 countries have already registered to use the data. Thirty-eight ground stations spread over 18 countries will receive data from the spacecraft.

NASA also has developed a software package called the SeaWiFS Data Analysis System (SeaDAS) for scientists worldwide to process the data. More than 150 scientists have already been to Goddard to learn how to use this package. Another 79 scientists from 11 countries are signed up for SeaDAS training at the Center this fall.

The SeaWIFS instrument is aboard a commercially built and operated satellite called OrbView 2, owned by Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, VA. OrbView 2 was launched at 3 p.m. EDT Aug. 1, 1997, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, aboard an Orbital Pegasus XL launch vehicle. The SeaWiFS mission is unlike many other NASA missions. NASA's SeaWiFS Project described the data they wanted to purchase without giving specific requirements for the spacecraft itself.

"It's a whole new way of doing business," said SeaWiFS Project Manager Dr. Mary Cleave.

The SeaWiFS instrument was built by Hughes/Santa Barbara Remote Sensing, Santa Barbara, CA, and is the only scientific payload on the SeaStar spacecraft, developed by Orbital Sciences Corp. NASA is buying the data and is providing it to researchers throughout the world.

SeaWiFS is a follow-on sensor to the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS), which operated aboard NASA's Nimbus-7 satellite from 1978-1986 and proved that satellite sensors could detect ocean-color from space. SeaWiFS improves on CZCS by providing global coverage every 48 hours, giving a more accurate determination of phytoplankton concentration.

Images from SeaWiFS are available from the World Wide Web at URL:

http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEAWIFS.html

The SeaWiFS program supports NASA's Mission to Planet Earth enterprise, a long-term coordinated research effort to study the Earth as a global system and the effects of natural and human-induced changes on the global environment. Using the unique perspective available from space, NASA is observing, monitoring and assessing large-scale environmental processes focusing on climate change.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "First Global Ocean-Color Images From New Sensor Show Promise For Climate, Biological Studies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970925042208.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (1997, September 25). First Global Ocean-Color Images From New Sensor Show Promise For Climate, Biological Studies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970925042208.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "First Global Ocean-Color Images From New Sensor Show Promise For Climate, Biological Studies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970925042208.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) — Organizers of the People's Climate March and other rallies taking place in 166 countries hope to move U.N. officials to action ahead of their summit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN's Ban: Climate Change 'defining Issue of Our Time'

UN's Ban: Climate Change 'defining Issue of Our Time'

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 21, 2014) — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marches with hundreds of thousands of people in New York for the international day of action on climate change. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) — Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins