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Landsat and other Earth observing satellites play an important role in urban planning and change monitoring. Nearly 60 percent of the world's human population now lives in areas of contiguous urban development. City growth alters entire landscapes including land surface, vegetation, water cycle, radiant heat and other aspects.

Episode 80 – ECOSTRESS and Carbon

Satellite thermal image background overlaid with a logo and two mugshots
Thumbnail for Eyes on Earth podcast Episode 80 on ECOSTRESS and Carbon.

ECOSTRESS, which stands for the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station, collects land surface temperatures in an effort to answer questions about plants’ use of water. The NASA Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC) at EROS has provided storage and distribution of ECOSTRESS data for four years now and counting. In this episode, we’ll take a look at how the ECOSTRESS temperature measurements can be useful in characterizing biological influences on the carbon dioxide exchange, specifically in the urban environment of Los Angeles and the non-urban environment surrounding the city.

Guests: Nick Parazoo, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Willow Coleman, former NASA JPL intern

Host: Jane Lawson

Release date: September 28, 2022

Episode 55 – Urban Heat Islands of New York

Color photo of Christian Braneon and James Cottone with the logo for the USGS EROS podcast Eyes On Earth

 In this episode, we learn how New York City uses Landsat to pinpoint city hot spots. Urban heat islands occur in areas containing more impervious surfaces and fewer natural environments. The day and night surface temperature are higher in urban heat islands than in surrounding areas.

During heat waves, this can lead to greater numbers of heat-related illnesses and deaths. Landsat satellites collect data on surface temperature and vegetative change that can help cities mitigate the heat stresses for residents, especially in a warming climate. For this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear about how a mapping project involving Landsat data helped the New York City Council identify urban heat islands.

Guests: Dr. Christian Braneon, a remote sensing specialist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and James Cottone, a New York City Council resiliency planner

Host: Jane Lawson

Release date: July 26, 2021