Join NASA and Look Up on Global Cloud Observation Day
Students and citizen scientists around the world have been making cloud observations with NASA for nearly two decades through the Students’ Cloud Observations On-Line (S’COOL). This Wednesday, January 13, 2016, marks Global Cloud Observation Day and the 19th anniversary of the very first S’COOL observation.
The S’COOL program and its citizen scientist counterpart ROVER enable students to learn about cloud properties and their role in the atmosphere. Participants are also able to contribute to valuable atmospheric research as their cloud observations are compared to satellite measurements.
Clouds are an important part of the Earth system. They are part of the global water cycle and they have an impact on Earth’s radiation budget – influencing how much sunlight the Earth absorbs and reflects as well as how freely heat radiated from the surface of the Earth can escape to space. Being able to map the amount and height of clouds is a key part of scientists’ efforts to understand and predict climate change.
You don’t have to be Ph.D. scientist to make a cloud observation, just visit the S’COOL Web site to find out when and what to observe. Use the Report Form to record your observations including cloud type, cover, height, and thickness at times that coincide with satellite overpasses and send the information to NASA. About a week later, return to the Web site and explore the database to compare what the satellite reported to what you and others saw.
NASA scientists can use your help to better understand the clouds. By submitting observations from the ground, you provide a different perspective that we can’t get from our satellite instruments.
You can observe right now through Students’ Cloud Observations On-Line (S’COOL)!
Here are some more helpful links:
Report form: http://scool.larc.nasa.gov/pdf/forme-ol.pdf
Online report: http://scool.larc.nasa.gov/en_rover_obs.html
Check out this video for more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U8BGZvvk_o