Data provided by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite has helped experts to analyze the unusual flash floods that affected territories from Oklahoma to Tennessee during the first two weeks of August 2013 causing at least two deaths and damages in hundreds of homes and other structures.
For more than a decade Earth-observing satellites have been scanning the surface of our planet searching for fires while scientists combine their space-based data to predict crucial fire behavior and therefore try to mitigate potential damages. In the western United States, California and Colorado, the 2013 wildfire season has started earlier than normal due to the favorable conditions for fire present in this area.
On July 8, 2013, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) aboard Landsat 8 captured impressive images of Elephant Butte Reservoir, when was only filled to 3% of its capacity, highlighting the impact that the drought has had on New Mexico.
The International Space Station (ISS) partner agencies released a common statement on 17 July 2013 underlining the benefits of the space station during disasters caused by natural hazards on Earth. The ISS partner agencies US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Canadian Space Agency, European Space Agency, Russian Federal Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency stated "The ISS Partners are committed to continuing to share this unique asset in space and the benefits it brings to life on Earth."
The carbonaceous particles rising high into the air in the context of wildfires significantly degrade air quality, damage human and wildlife health, and interact with sunlight to affect climate. But measurements taken during the 2011 Las Conchas fire near Los Alamos National Laboratory show that the actual carbon-containing particles emitted by fires are very different than those used in current computer models, providing the potential for inaccuracy in current climate-modeling results, as Science Daily reported.