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NASA GES DISC Presentations at AGU Fall Meeting 2012 Highlight Science Partners

Collaborations and data partnerships on hydrology, aerosols, precipitation, data preservation, and data assimilation described

NASA GES DISC Presentations at AGU Fall Meeting 2012 Highlight Science Partners

Data partnerships and collaborations were the subject of several presentations by the NASA GES DISC at the AGU 2012 Fall Meeting.

NASA GES DISC Presentations at AGU Fall Meeting 2012 Highlight Science Partners


At the recent AGU Fall Meeting 2012, held in San Francisco, California December 3-7, several presentations given by members of the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) described collaborative projects and data partnerships. In addition, leaders of projects in which the GES DISC is a partner also gave presentations at this annual meeting. The meeting presentations addressed improvements to data access, preservation of historical data, and the archival of new data products created under the Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program. In addition, other presentations described data intercomparison efforts, improved river forecast models, scientific aspects of access to near-real-time data, and data assimilation utilizing data acquired by multiple remote-sensing missions.   The use of remote sensing data by the hydrological community was a highlighted topic.
Steve Kempler’s presentation on the meeting’s first day discussed science data preservation, specifically the importance of Mission Project, Instrument, and Science personnel to document and plan for delivering their documentation for long term preservation.  The GES DISC is conducting data preservation activities in collaboration with the Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project.


data preservation figure

Figure 1.   The preservation of vital data documentation is an important aspect of distributing and archiving Earth science data. Click to view full-resolution image.


One of the GES DISC’s most noteworthy data partnerships is the archive and distribution activity for data from the Modern Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) Project. The GES DISC is also the designated archive for data from the Atmospheric Infared Sounder (AIRS), in orbit on the Aqua satellite.   Thomas Hearty was the first author on a presentation which described intercomparison of data from AIRS and MERRA, addressing the differences in the data caused by the limited number of observations made from orbit as compared to the coverage of the reanalysis data set, which is generated by data assimilation.
The Data-enhanced Investigations for Climate Change Education (DICCE) Project utilizes the NASA Giovanni data system to provide a useful set of data parameters that teachers and students can implement in climate change education lessons and projects.   DICCE Principal Investigator Daniel Zalles, GES DISC scientist James Acker, and science education specialist Ruth Krumhansl were interchangeable authors and co-authors on three DICCE presentations at the AGU meeting.
 Dr. Suhung Shen discussed a MEaSUREs project that contributes data to the GES DISC, the effort to create a long-term atmospheric aerosol record from data acquired by the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS). Even though SeaWiFS was primarily an ocean color sensor, the data it collected could also be used for the generation of atmospheric aerosol data products (The influence of atmospheric aerosols had to be removed in the atmospheric correction process necessary to create ocean color data products.) Lead scientist Christina Hsu has created atmospheric aerosol data products using the “Deep Blue” algorithm.

seawifs deep blue aerosol, global mission climatology 

Figure 2. SeaWiFS mission-averaged aerosol optical thickness (AOT) at 555 nm, calculated with the ‘Deep Blue’ algorithm.  Click to view full-resolution image.

Another major GES DISC partnership is for data from the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) and the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS).   These data are important scientific data products for a variety of hydrological investigations. Bruce Vollmer and his co-authors described the use of NLDAS data to examine budgets and trends for water and energy.  Hualan Rui was the first author on a presentation describing activities conducted by the GES DISC designed to make it easier for the hydrological community to use the data from NLDAS and GLDAS. 
The work described in Rui's presentation is part of a new NASA ACCESS project (headed by Bill Teng), presented in a related poster.  This new project seeks to provide hydrology scientists with better ways to use remote-sensing data.  The current ‘digital divide’  in hydrological science exists because traditional hydrology data are from single point sites, and consist primarily of data collected at these sites over time. In contrast, remote sensing data are collected over broad areas but stored as discrete time steps. The project has a multi-tiered approach to make available remote sensing data more useful to hydrologists.  
nldas map of north american evapotranspiration, january 1979-september 2012 
Figure 3. NLDAS average evapotranspiration, January 1979 – September 2012, for the continental United States.
AIRS data for operational use in National Oceanic and Data Administration (NOAA) was the subject of lead author Feng Ding’s presentation, in which he showed how the AIRS retrieved temperature data could be used to improve basin average temperature forecasting in California-Nevada, a region prone to high spring streamflow and floods from snowpack melting. Such an improvement could support the Operational Forecast System of NOAA National Weather Service River Forecast Centers.
study area for applying airs temperature to river forecasting 
Figure 4. Study area of AIRS retrieved surface air temperature for operational use in River Forecast Centers.  Click to view full-resolution image.
Also, for many years, the GES DISC has sought to provide data that can be used in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).   The presentation entitled “Visualizing East Africa Drought and Vegetation Response in GIS using NASA Satellite Data” demonstrated how this can be done, using GES DISC data in a GIS environment to examine drought in east Africa. 
The GES DISC serves as the main archive for data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM).   Version 7 of the TRMM data set was recently released; Dana Ostrenga and her co-authors described how the GES DISC is supporting this data set in “Newly Released Version 7 TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) Products and Data Services at NASA GES DISC”.
Near-real-time data are strongly desired by many different user groups, including meteorologists, disaster mitigation and recovery personnel, and economic and commodities forecasters. The GES DISC is part of a collaborative team bringing near-real-time data to such users and other interest groups, and addressing the science quality of these data.   Bruce Vollmer was a co-author on a presentation about this topic.
The GES DISC is also working with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on a Multi-Mission Observation Operator (M2O2) that enables the correct use of data from several missions in data assimilation models.   The GES DISC provides on-the-fly quality filtering and file reformatting capabilities to this effort. A Beta version of M2O2 has been developed with ozone data from the Microwave Limb Sounder, with data from ACOS (Atmospheric CO2 Observations from Space), AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder) and TES (Tropospheric Imaging Spectroradiometer). More information can be found at the GEOS-Chem wiki:


schematic diagram of the m2o2 system 


Figure 5. Schematic diagram of the M2O2 system.


Presentation titles and authors:
► Science Data Preservation Implementation and Why It is Important”: Steve Kempler, John Moses, Irina Gerasimov, James Johnson, Bruce Vollmer, Mike Theobald, Dana Ostrenga, Suraiya Ahmad, and Mohammad Khayat.
► Intercomparisons of AIRS Observations with MERRA Reanalysis and Climate Models”: Thomas Hearty, Andrey Savtchenko, Michael Theobald, Bruce Vollmer, Feng Ding, Ed Esfandiari, Dana Ostrenga, Michael Bosilovich, Eric Fetzer, Baijun Tian, Evan Fishbein, Evan Manning, and Qing Yue.
► Giovanni Data Portals and Resources Support Student Problem-Based Learning for Climate Change Education”: James G. Acker, Daniel R. Zalles, Ruth A. Krumhansl
► Assessing Student Learning About Climate Change With Earth System Place-Based Geospatial Data”: Daniel R. Zalles, Ruth A. Krumhansl, James G. Acker, James Manitakos, and Anne Elston
► Supporting teachers in the use of authentic, near-real time climate data from the NASA GIOVANNI data portal in the pre-college classroom”: Ruth A. Krumhansl, Daniel R. Zalles, James G. Acker
► Global Long-Term SeaWiFS Deep Blue Aerosol Products available at NASA GES DISC”: Suhung Shen, Andrew M. Sayer, Corey Bettenhausen, Jennifer C. Wei, Dana Ostrenga, Bruce Vollmer, Nai-Yung, Christina Hsu, and Steven Kempler.
► Analysis of Water/Energy Budgets and Trends Using the NLDAS Monthly Data Sets”: Bruce Vollmer, Hualan Rui, David Mocko, Bill Teng, and Guang-Dih Lei.
► Data Reorganization for Optimal Time Series Data Access, Analysis, and Visualization”: Hualan Rui, Bill Teng, Richard Strub, and Bruce Vollmer.
► Bridging the Digital Divide between Discrete and Continuous Space-Time Array Data to Enhance Accessibility to and Usability of NASA Earth Sciences Data for the Hydrological Community”: Bill Teng, David R. Maidment, Bruce Vollmer, Christa Peters-Lidard, Hualan Rui, Richard Strub, Tim Whiteaker, David Mocko, and Dalia Kirschbaum.
► Assessing the Potential of the AIRS Retrieved Surface Temperature for 6-Hour Average Temperature Forecast in River Forecast Centers”: Feng Ding, Michael Theobald, Bruce Vollmer, Andrey Savtchenko, Thomas Hearty, Asghar Esfandiari.
► Newly Released Version 7 TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) Products and Data Services at NASA GES DISC”: Dana Ostrenga, Zhong Liu, William Teng, and Steve Kempler.
► Merging Science and Near Real-Time Data Search and Order”: Stephen Kreisler,
Kevin Murphy, Bruce Vollmer, Luther Lighty, Andrew Mitchell, and Neal Devine.
► Multi-mission Observation Operator (M2O2) service for mission-independent data assimilation process”: Richard Weidner, Meemong Lee, and Christopher Lynnes.
► Visualizing East Africa Drought and Vegetation Response in GIS using NASA Satellite Data”: Wenli Yang, Peisheng Zhao, Aijun Chen, Long Pham, and Steven Kempler.




Author: James Acker.  Editorial assistance:  Chris Lynnes, Steve Kempler, Feng Ding, Bruce Vollmer, Suhung Shen, and Bill Teng. Web formatting by James Acker.

The GES DISC is a NASA earth science data center, part of the NASA Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project. 

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Last updated: Dec 21, 2012 02:09 PM ET