The NASA GLOBE Clouds team is continuously working with scientists around the world finding ways that cloud observations from citizen scientists impact the most. As we find new ways of using the data, we want to remind you how important each part of your cloud report is to the scientific community. All cloud observations can help with big questions such as the link between clouds and climate.
Dr. Patrick Taylor is an atmospheric scientist at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. In the Clouds and Earth’s Climate video, Patrick discusses how he studies clouds to look at our changing climate and analyzes data from Low Earth Orbit satellites. Learn how Patrick’s passion for weather started when he was in fourth grade at Greenwood Elementary School in Millerstown, Pennsylvania.
Timing your observations
SAFETY FIRST! NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE SUN!
REMEMBER TO FOLLOW YOUR LOCAL GUIDELINES.
Observations can be used to study even more questions when they are timed to capture specific events or phenomena. It can determine whether you get a satellite match, capture a unique event like a dust storm or a smoke plume from a nearby fire, or help out with a specific need, like the Terminator Problem (dusk & dawn cloud observations). In any of these events, we ask that you take observations following your local guidelines and only when it is safe to do so.
Photographing the sky and clouds
You know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Well, it is also true for data. No matter what you are reporting in your cloud observation, photographs add a lot of data to your report. It helps scientists see what you saw. It’s the next best thing to being right there with you. It also allows scientists to notice other details that may help them analyze the event. So, always remember to add photographs to your cloud observation.
The GLOBE Observer app makes this pretty easy! Just line up the letter of the cardinal direction you are pointing at to the closest circle and voila, the photograph will be taken instantaneously. Remember, you can also add comments with the photos.