Modern Meterology


What is the Landsat Program?

In 1972, NASA launched the first Landsat (land satellite) in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey. While taking photos and measurements related to the planet’s surface, these satellites also provide a considerable amount of weather-related information. For example, Landsat satellite data has recorded the impacts of weather disasters, monitors flooding, and takes other measurements of interest to hydrologists. Recent surveys of land use have also resulted in studies about the effects of human activities on weather. For example, in 2006, an atmospheric modeling study was conducted on the state of Florida. Scientists compared estimates of vegetation coverage in the year 1900 with present conditions and demonstrated how urban and rural activities were affecting rainfall. It was estimated that Florida now experiences 12 percent less rain than it would have a century ago.


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