Tag Archives: satellite imagery

Remote Surveillance May Increase Chance of Survival for ‘Uncontacted’ Tribes, MU Study Finds

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Lowland South America, including the Amazon Basin, harbors most of the last indigenous societies that have limited contact with the outside world. Studying these tribes, located deep within Amazonian rainforests, gives scientists a glimpse at what tribal cultures may have been like before the arrival of Europeans. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have used satellite images to assess the demographic health of one particular village of isolated people on the border between Brazil and Peru. Remote surveillance is the only method to safely track uncontacted indigenous societies and may offer information that can improve their chances for long-term survival. (more…)

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Searching for the Lost Royal City of Nubia in Northern Sudan

ANN ARBOR — Geoff Emberling is doing what few archaeologists do anymore in a world that has been worked over pretty well by picks, trowels and shovels. He’s searching for a lost royal city.

The ancient capital was ruled by the kings of Nubia, which now lies in northern Sudan, just south of Egypt. Little is known about the kings who suddenly appeared on the historical stage about 800 B.C. and conquered all of Egypt before eventually fading back into the desert. (more…)

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Changing Climate, Not Tourism, Seems to Be Driving Decline in Chinstrap-Penguin Populations

High-resolution satellite imagery aids in study

The breeding population of chinstrap penguins has declined significantly as temperatures have rapidly warmed on the Antarctic Peninsula, according to researchers funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The study indicates that changing climatic conditions, rather than the impact of tourism, have had the greatest effect on the chinstrap population.

Ron Naveen, founder of a nonprofit science and conservation organization, Oceanites, Inc., of Chevy Chase, Md., documented the decline in a paper published in the journal Polar Biology. Naveen and coauthor Heather Lynch, of Stony Brook University, are researchers with the Antarctic Site Inventory (ASI). (more…)

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West Antarctic Ice Shelves Tearing Apart at the Seams

AUSTIN, Texas — A new study examining nearly 40 years of satellite imagery has revealed that the floating ice shelves of a critical portion of West Antarctica are steadily losing their grip on adjacent bay walls, potentially amplifying an already accelerating loss of ice to the sea.

The most extensive record yet of the evolution of the floating ice shelves in the eastern Amundsen Sea Embayment in West Antarctica shows that their margins, where they grip onto rocky bay walls or slower ice masses, are fracturing and retreating inland. As that grip continues to loosen, these already-thinning ice shelves will be even less able to hold back grounded ice upstream, according to glaciologists at The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics (UTIG). (more…)

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Cloud-Based Computing System Helps Scientists Study the Breathing of the Biosphere

*Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, work with Microsoft Research to analyze vast amounts of data without supercomputers.*

BERKELEY, Calif. — Studying the environment would be simple if it weren’t for one thing: Even an isolated ecosystem is unbelievably complicated. Factors to study include water systems, plant life cycles, carbon dioxide fluctuations, resource use by humans, and far more — and each can be studied at the scale of a plant or of the planet, and measured in an instant or over decades. (more…)

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