Monthly Archives: December 2016

GRACE meets LANDSAT; Eyes in the sky monitoring long-terms changes in water resources

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You could be excused for labeling this title conspiratorial, the brutal reality encapsulated in Alan Parsons prog rock group’s signature song or a Helen Mirren thriller.  And if that is your inclination, don’t bother reading any further because this post deals with far more mundane uses of remotely sensed data.  The data sets are generated by two groups of satellites that measure very different attributes of the earth, gravity and light spectra.  Teasing the data has given us multiple stories of how systems like surface and groundwater are responding to human activities and natural processes.  Some of these stories make grim reading.

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CO2 – the Good, the Bad, and the Indifferent

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CO2 has a bad rep.  We can’t do without it (GOOD – it’s part of the photosynthetic process), but it looks like we’re upsetting the balance between having too little and producing too much (BAD).  I take some of the blame for this: I drive a car (out of necessity), run a small boat (that I really enjoy), use a gas stove (the best cooking device ever), use a couple of lawn/orchard mowers (also necessary to keep the weeds at bay in our organic kiwifruit orchard), and take trips to Canada and beyond (which is life-affirming).  I guess we all have our crosses to bear (INDIFFERENT), but I do take solace in the knowledge that my carbon footprint is more than offset by the biomass on my organic orchard.

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