July 2018 was the driest July in Australia since 2002. The dry month exacerbated an ongoing drought that had already ruined large swaths of grazing land and cropland.
In this activity, students explore three indicators of drought are: soil moisture, lack of precipitation, and decreased streamflows. Students investigate each of these parameters develop a sense for the effects of drought on land.
Three-dimensional measurements of the central Brazilian Amazon rainforest have given NASA researchers a detailed window into the high number of branch falls and tree mortality that occur in response to drought conditions.
The energy budget diagram on the front shows our best understanding of energy flows into and away from the Earth.
Students review Earth System phenomena that are affected by soil moisture. They analyze and evaluate maps of seasonal global surface air temperature and soil moisture data from NASA satellites.
Forests are an important and common feature of the Earth’s land cover, covering 31 percent of the total land surface. There are two regions in particular where forests are common.
The purpose of this activity is to have students use an Earth Systems perspective to identify the various causes associated with changes to Earth's forests as they review Landsat imagery of site locations from around the world.
The Soil Moisture Active Passive mission (SMAP) was launched in 2015 as the first NASA satellite dedicated to measuring the water content of soils. The satellite uses a radiometer to measure soil moisture in the top 5 centimeters of the ground.
Please consider using this graphic organizer to help students analyze the processes and components of Earth System phenomena.
Soil moisture is the water that is held in the spaces between soil particles, generally in the upper 10 cm of soil. Although soil moisture is just a fraction of the total water mass in the water cycle, this small amount of water plays a critical role in evaporation and plant transpiration proces