La Perouse Landslide debris 2014

68 million ton landslide in Alaska: Mount La Perouse

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – February 16, 2014– A roar sounded unheard somewhere in the vicinity of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in remote southeast Alaska. Stone and debris, long part of Mount La Perouse, suddenly bowed to gravity as one of the mountain’s near-vertical flanks collapsed.  The colossal landslide carried an estimated […]

Feeling the heat? 2013 fourth warmest year on record

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – The year 2013 was the fourth warmest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climate Data Center. 2013 tied with 2003 in NOAA’s record, which details global average temperatures all the way back to the year 1880. NOAA notes: “Including 2013, 9 of the […]

Comet ISON STEREO solar pass

Update: Comet ISON beyond the Sun

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Last Thursday, while many gathered with loved ones for Thanksgiving, a frozen ball of ice and rock was hurtling towards the Sun reaching speeds of 225 miles/second [360 kilometers/second]. A fleet of solar-observing spacecraft had their instruments aligned, and experts were on hand to watch what unfolded. We wondered […]

SOHO images Comet Ison's aproach to the sun Nov 2013

Comet ISON approaches the Sun

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Our patch of universe has a visitor from afar. Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), or Comet ISON, has astronomers across the world training telescopes and eager eyes on outer space. Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office, watches for objects whose orbits come close to Earth. He says ISON […]

global deforestation 2000-2012 map

Learning our forests from space– mapping deforestation and regrowth

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – “Every day, Landsat satellites provide essential information for land managers and policy makers to support wise decisions about our resources and environment in the places we live and work.” (NASA) Matthew Hansen, University of Maryland, and co-author Thomas Loveland, U.S. Geological Survey, released an unprecedented record of global deforestation […]

Antarctic pancake ice

Against the odds Antarctic sea ice is growing– here’s why

“On any given day, sea ice cover in the oceans of the polar regions is about the size of the U.S.,” Thorsten Markus reminds us. He’s a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “Far-flung locations like the Arctic and Antarctic actually impact our temperature and climate where we live and work on a […]

forest fire wildfire trees

Wildfires across our hot planet

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Wildfires are a hungry, terrible and complex force which we’ve long struggled to live alongside. Smoke and particulate matter from wildfires can travel thousands of miles, lowering air quality and causing health impacts. Local fires risk lives, and fire damage costs millions or more to repair. And now, conditions […]

Landsat image Lake Minicougan

Earthshots puts visually stunning Landsat data to use

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Every eight days, a Landsat satellite carrying delicate sensing and scanning equipment passes high above wherever you might be on the planet. Data from Landsat mission images records changes on Earth’s surface since 1972, over the last four decades, and it’s freely available to scientists and the public. By visiting […]

NASA Seasat satellite

Looking back in time at the world’s oceans

A time capsule of satellite imagery of the earth will become available to scientists this month. On June 28, digital imagery from more than three decades ago will be released by the Alaska Satellite Facility at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, NASA’s processor and distributor for this type of data. The images reveal […]

Dark Side of Carbon aerosols distribution

Tiny aerosol particles, big global impacts

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists Tiny particles suspended in the air, present in the air we breathe and in the highest reaches of the atmosphere, are called aerosols. And those aerosols, though relatively short-lived, have a huge impact on global climate change. In fact, much of the atmospheric warming observed since 1976 in the Arctic, […]