NASA has announced five new projects that are scheduled to launch in 2020. The projects are part of the “Earth Venture-class Program,” a series of studies that are designed to research the Earth and its natural processes. The studies will incorporate 27 different educational facilities and six NASA centers and each project ranges in costs from $15 to $30 million. Here’s a breakdown of the individual studies.
Impact Of Aerosols On Clouds
Can aerosol particulates change the makeup of clouds? That’s what the University of Arizona’s Aerosol Cloud Meteorology Interactions over the Western Atlantic Experiment aims to find out. Helmed by Armin Sorooshian, the experiment will take a look at the area of the western North Atlantic Ocean and study the impact of aerosols on the marine clouds and how that affects the energy balance of Earth.
This study will take a deeper look at the severe East Coast winter storms. Specifically, the experiments lead by the University of Washington will look at the formation of snow bands and what elements contribute to the creation of the most intense snowstorms. That information, in turn, could help improve the forecasting of extreme winter weather events.
Heat Exchange Between Oceans And The Atmosphere
The Submesoscale Ocean Dynamics and Vertical Transport Investigation, led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, will study the connection between the ocean and the atmosphere and their respective temperatures.
Rising Sea Levels And River Delta Impact
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab will lead this project, aimed at studying the impact of rising sea levels on coastal land. Specifically, the study will look at how building land in river delta areas can mitigate the impact of rising seas.
Summer Storms And Their Impact On The Stratosphere
Strong Summer storms can penetrate the Earth’s lower stratosphere, which can introduce pollutants into the layer and affect the planet’s ozone levels. The research conducted by Texas A&M University aims to study just how impactful those storms can be.
NASA is usually focused on research outside of the confines of our planet’s atmosphere so it will be interesting to see what information we can gain from these important projects.