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30 November 2016
The VIRRS instrument on the Suomi Satellite saw the Gatlinburg fire Monday night very clearly, through a thick deck of clouds. The image below is a day-night channel. We can often see clouds at night, especially when there is a bright Moon. This data is also useful to see growth patterns of cities, and even to estimate population changes in towns and cities.
The Arctic Sea ice continues to run at record lows, and this has potentially large implications on the winter ahead. Instead of white ice reflecting what little sunlight is available north of 60 degrees, we have ocean water rapidly losing its heat into the atmosphere of the High Arctic. The ice that’s usually there now acts as an insulator to hold in the heat, but not this year! How all …