Current regional and global scale hydrological models, such as the Coupled Routing and Excess STorage (CREST) model, do not take into account the release and storage of water by man-made dams. These models make gross assumptions about dam operation, impairing their accuracy and utility. In many less economically developed areas of the world, it is not possible to acquire information on the timing and extent of water release in dammed regions.
NASA's latest Earth-observing satellite, the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP), is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Oct. 28 to extend key environmental data records established by an earlier generation of NASA satellites. To mark the launch, they are looking back at one of the scientific legacies NPP will build upon: the global fire data record.
In the days and weeks before the monsoon, heat builds over India. Hot air rises over the baked earth and westerly winds rush in to fill the void, bringing dust-laden air from the deserts of southwest Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. Through April, May, and June, as monsoon conditions build, the air over the Ganges River plain grows thick with dust, smoke, and haze. Air quality over India is at its worst at this time of year.
Heavy rains pushed the Mekong River in Cambodia over its banks during the weekend, flooding 37 villages and damaging over 5,000 homes. Schools also were closed, and rice and cassava crops have been badly affected.
Taking a global view, public health issues and the environment are intimately linked. As an example, research has demonstrated that cholera epidemics occur seasonally in Bangladesh, with peak outbreaks happening twice a year. This bimodal outbreak pattern closely follows the times when large monsoon events are frequent (spring and fall).
Water isn't the only thing pouring over Niagara Falls. Pollution from fires in Ontario, Canada is also making the one thousand mile trip, while being measured by NASA's Aqua satellite. One instrument that flies aboard two of NASA's satellites has provided two views of the pollution from the fires in Ontario.
By July 2011, Texas and New Mexico had completed the driest six-month period on record. Average rain between January and June was more than eight inches (203 millimeters) below average in Texas and 3.5 inches (89 millimeters) below average in New Mexico. Record warm temperatures also persisted in Texas between April and June. The lack of rain and the warm temperatures added up to exceptional drought.