The Live Access Server can: Top of Atmosphere All Sky Net Flux
  • show visualizations (color plots and graphs) of the data as requested
  • provide subsets of the specific parameters in a choice of file formats
  • present the numerical data collected

What is available?
NASA scientists select parameters to study that will increase their understanding of humanity’s impact on the atmosphere and how this impact might affect our climate. These parameters also assist in the understanding of natural climate variability. The parameters served by the LAS are a selected portion of the atmospheric data collected by NASA, which is stored primarily at the Atmospheric Science Data Center.

Where can I find the descriptions?
The descriptions of the parameters can be found by clicking on the link to the Live Access Server here or on the Data Access page and then clicking on one of the major dataset categories (Atmosphere, Snow and Ice, or Surface). Further information about a description (parameter) is available by clicking the info icon (blue circle with the letter i in it) and then clicking the ‘(MY NASA DATA Information…)’ link. The Science Glossary link will also provide information on parameters. Below is a list of introductory pages of parameters.

What time period is covered?
The parameters in the LAS cover extended periods of time to identify trends or illustrate educational concepts. Click here for the Parameter Time Range chart.

How are parameters named?
The parameters have been named using the following convention:

<TIME INTERVAL> describes the time resolution of the measurement: Monthly, Daily, Seasonal, etc
<PLACE> tells where the measurement applies: Top of Atmosphere, Surface, Cloud, Tropopause, Column, Near-Surface, Stratosphere, Pressure Levels, High cloud, etc
<PARAMETER> name of the variable: Aerosol Optical Depth, Temperature, Cloud Fraction, etc

Radiation parameters are further defined as:
<PARAMETER>=<Sky Condition> <Wavelength> <Direction><Parameter>
<Sky Condition> All-sky, Clear-sky
<Wavelength> Longwave (LW), Shortwave (SW), Photosynthically Active Radiation (PAR), etc
<Direction> Upward, Downward, Net
<Parameter>Ex: Flux, Albedo, etc

<PRODUCT> reference information identifying the data source: CERES, ISCCP, MISR, etc

Monthly TOA Clear-Sky LW Upward Flux (CERES)
Monthly Column Ozone (SAGE III)

Where do these parameters come from? (Explaining the <PRODUCT> tag)

The parameters in the LAS are measured by instruments on a variety of different Earth-observing satellites. These are identified by the <PRODUCT> in parentheses at the end of the parameter name.

The MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) is now available to create your own microsets for your class or your interests. The LAS contains over 400 parameters in atmospheric and earth science from over 20 NASA projects.

Live Access Server (Basic Edition)
Live Access Server (Intermediate Edition)
Live Access Server (Advanced Edition)
Live Access Server (Climate Change Edition)

Live Access Server Tutorial (MS PowerPoint Document)
Live Access Server Introduction
Live Access Server Time Coverage at a Glance
Live Access Server Sample Images


NASA earth science satellite data has also been pre-packaged into easy-to-use data sets that contain appropriate content for K-12 classroom education or citizen scientist use. These microsets are accompanied by corresponding lesson plans and computer tools . The microsets have been made available by the NASA Langley Atmospheric Sciences Data Center (ASDC). The ASDC houses over 700 data sets which pertain to the Earth’s radiation budget, clouds, aerosols and atmospheric chemistry. Please visit the ASDC web site for more information.

Microset Description Lesson ID
Area Coverage by Water Bodies around Earth’s Equator A
Area Coverage by Mixed Forest, Urban and Water Bodies around Latitude 40N A
Area Coverage by all CERES Surface Categories for a few Sample Locations A
Cloud Layer Area Fraction during a Late Winter Storm C
Net Radiation at Latitude 20N D
Temperature and Ozone Profile from SAGE-III G
Cloud Coverage over Africa F
Weather Balloon data from August 5, 2004 2
Weather Balloon data from July 26, 2005 2,20
Weather Balloon data from July 31, 2007