[2:01] Flying and aircraft over the Brazilian Amazon with an instrument firing 300,000 laser pulses per second, NASA scientists have made the first 3D measurements of forest canopies in the region. With this research they hope to shed light on the effects of prolonged drought on forest ecosystems and to provide a potential preview of stresses on rainforests in a warming world.
[2:48] Pho, a plucky bright green photon of light, must travel from a NASA spacecraft down to Earth and back again to help complete a crucial science mission in this educational short film. The animation was created and produced by media art students from the Savannah College of Art in Design (SCAD) in Georgia, in collaboration with NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission. Their goal was to communicate the science and engineering of the mission, slated for launch in 2018.
[3:05] The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation, or GEDI, uses advanced laser technology to reveal the makeup of remote forest ecosystems around the globe. Its measurements of the height of leaves, branches, trees, and shrubs below its path will help scientists map the structure of forests and better understand how ecosystems are storing or releasing carbon.
Forests in the United States are constantly changing. For four decades NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey's Landsat satellites have kept a steady watch from space, and now scientists are turning yearly data sets into powerful time series that show the evolution of the landscape. In this visualization of false color images taken of the Pacific Northwest from 1984 to 2011, scientists see many different stories.