Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Satellite Data To Assess Role Clouds Play In Climate Change

Date:
March 6, 2000
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
A wealth of information on the physical properties and global distribution of clouds -- soon to be collected by a recently launched satellite called Terra -- could help scientists better predict climate change, says a University of Illinois researcher involved with the project.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A wealth of information on the physical properties and global distribution of clouds -- soon to be collected by a recently launched satellite called Terra -- could help scientists better predict climate change, says a University of Illinois researcher involved with the project.

"Terra is the flagship of NASA's Earth Observing System Program, an international effort to monitor Earth's climate over the next 15 years," said Larry Di Girolamo, a professor of atmospheric sciences. "During the satellite's six-year lifetime, its five instruments will help scientists understand how clouds, aerosols, air pollutants, oceans, vegetation and ice cover interact with each other and impact the climate we live in."

Di Girolamo's research focuses on clouds. "From a climate-modeling perspective, clouds contribute the largest uncertainty to climate change," he said. "Clouds may have a warming or cooling effect on the planet, depending on the cloud properties. Because clouds are so variable, their effect on global climate has been difficult to quantify."

One of the instruments on Terra is the Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer. MISR will be the first instrument to make global, high-resolution, multi-angle, multi-spectral radiometric measurements of Earth from space. The instrument will characterize cloud, aerosol and surface properties in a manner no other satellite has been capable of.

"It's MISR's ability to look at the same scene from different angles at a high resolution that makes MISR so unique," Di Girolamo said. "You get a lot more information about an object when you look at it from different angles than you do when you look at it from a single angle."

Unlike traditional meteorological satellites that have only one camera, MISR has nine cameras that will successively view portions of the planet in four spectral bands. "By combining spectral and angular signatures, we can gather more information about atmospheric or surface features than spectral signatures alone," Di Girolamo said. "The use of multiple cameras also permits stereoscopic imaging, allowing us to look at clouds in 3-D."

Di Girolamo has been involved with the MISR project for the past decade. As a graduate student, he worked on new techniques for studying clouds from multi-angle data, which helped set the instrument specifications. More recently, he developed the cloud-detection and classification algorithms that will process the complex data needed to better understand the role that clouds play in Earth's climate system.

Lofted into orbit on Dec. 18, the Terra instruments are being rigorously tested prior to measurements of scientific data. For more information on the Terra and MISR missions, visit http://terra.nasa.gov, a Web page maintained by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "New Satellite Data To Assess Role Clouds Play In Climate Change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000306075941.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (2000, March 6). New Satellite Data To Assess Role Clouds Play In Climate Change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000306075941.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "New Satellite Data To Assess Role Clouds Play In Climate Change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000306075941.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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