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NASA GLOBE Clouds Quarterly Update

September/October/November 2023


Would you like to receive NASA GLOBE Clouds communications in Spanish?

Our NASA GLOBE Clouds team will attempt to translate our communications to Spanish whenever possible. You can now sign up to receive NASA GLOBE Clouds communications in Spanish.


Atmosphere and animal behavior changes during a solar eclipse

A person holds a calculator in their hand at a table outside. GLOBE Observer Connect, 5 October, 8 to 8:30 pm.Join our GLOBE Observer Connect series in October to learn about changes in the atmosphere and animal behaviors during an eclipse. NASA scientist Dr. Brant Dodson will discuss how clouds, temperature and wind might change. In addition, Dr. Trae Winter and Ms. MaryKay Severino, leads of the NASA citizen science program Eclipse Soundscapes, will talk about sounds and animal behaviors during an eclipse.


Just in Case STEM Activity: Creating a Family Emergency Plan

Data from satellites are used to monitor extreme weather and plan for it in advance. For example, NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement mission (GPM) frequently observes tropical cyclones and hurricanes. These severe weather events, such as tropical cyclones and hurricanes, bring destructive winds, prolonged heavy rainfall, and coastal flooding that often pose threats to populated regions. By mapping the intensity of heavy rainfall, emergency responders can gain insights into post-landfall conditions. Also, improved storm center identification aids officials in tracking the system and enhancing numerical weather prediction models. Using satellites to forecast the weather isn’t the only thing that we can do to be prepared. It is a good idea to create a family emergency plan and keep a bag of supplies ready in case you must leave your home in a hurry. This activity introduces children to the concept of creating an emergency plan


GLOBE Clouds by the Numbers

The GLOBE Clouds Team would like to share some exciting numbers! Thank you to the amazing GLOBE community. Repeat observations are necessary to understand changes in our atmosphere:


Sky Photographs

Cloud Observations

Satellite Matches

Last Quarter
(2023-06-01 to 2023-08-31)





Graph of Total Satellite Matches Since Last Quarter 2023-06-01 to 2023-08-31. About 25,000 GEO matches, 4,000 Terra matches, and 6,000 NOAA-20 matches.


Meet the Expert: Rosalba Giarratano

Rosalba wearing flightsuit in front of a NASA Langley plane.Rosalba is a GLOBE Clouds Outreach Coordinator, as part of the NASA Langley Research Center’s Science Education Team. She has also served as NASA’s liaison to the GLOBE Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Working Group.

Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I am originally from Mexico City, and I currently live in New York City.

Question: What is your job?
Answer:I work as a member of NASA Langley’s Science Education Team, as an Outreach Coordinator. I help with different tasks in several projects. A lot of what I do has to do with GLOBE Clouds! Sometimes I conduct workshops for teachers, other times I make presentations for students. I also develop instructional materials, both in English and in Spanish. I also share my knowledge about accessibility with my team, which is something I feel passionate about. I feel very happy to work with a wonderful team and help make science a bit more accessible.

Question: How did you prepare for this job?
Answer: My path to my current job was not a straight line. I studied engineering when I was still in Mexico City, which gave me a solid STEM foundation. I worked on information technology for several years for a large company that has offices all around the world; leading projects that required interaction with people from many different countries helped me learn about many cultures. That job also helped me learn English! I used to develop software-related workshops too. After I moved to the United States I studied both education and information systems. I also worked as a director of an after-school site. I am currently pursuing a degree in instructional design as well. So, throughout the years I have gained different skills that I can use for my current job. I know how to manage many projects at once, I have a multicultural perspective, I can prepare instructional materials and present in two languages, and I know strategies to engage learners of all ages.

Question: How did you get your job at NASA?
Answer: One day I received an email inviting me to apply for a professional development opportunity at NASA Glenn Research Center. My first reaction was that somebody was joking with me. However, the email explained that my school had provided my contact information. I was working on my master’s degree in education at that time. So, I contacted my professors, and they confirmed the email was legit. I completed my application, and I got selected together with four other students to spend a week at NASA Glenn Research Center, in Cleveland OH. It was amazing! I did not even know that NASA had educational materials before that week! I learned that NASA had many educational resources and even internship opportunities for educators. So, then I applied for a NASA internship at NASA Kennedy Space Center. I did not get the position the first time, but I tried again. I did get the position the second time. Then, I applied for another internship opportunity. That position was as a GLOBE intern at NASA Langley Research Center. I was also an intern at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. And then, years after my GLOBE internship at Langley had ended, I got the call that there was an open position I could apply to! I now have the best job ever.

Question: What is your favorite part about your work with GLOBE Clouds?
Answer: It is too difficult to choose one favorite part. I enjoy the process of planning a workshop for educators with my teammates. We work together creatively to find ways to keep educators engaged, to be as helpful as possible. I also love co-hosting these workshops and feeling the excitement of the educators as they learn about GLOBE Clouds. The teachers that attend our sessions are very committed to having their students learn science by doing science. So, it is nice to see many teachers go from making their first GLOBE Clouds observations themselves to guiding their students into GLOBE Clouds research projects. I also have a lot of fun interacting with students; they come up with the best questions. It is very rewarding to know that students are interested in making GLOBE Clouds observations to contribute to science.


Science Topic: Extreme Heat

In August of 2023, NASA announced that July 2023 had become the hottest month ever recorded in the global temperature record. July was 0.43 degrees Fahrenheit (0.24 degrees Celsius) warmer than any other July on record. It was 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit (1.18 degrees Celsius) hotter than the average July temperatures recorded between 1951 and 1980. NASA compiles temperature records from different sources, including meteorological stations, ships, and buoys. Rigorous analysis techniques are applied to account for different variations.

World map of temperature anomaly in Celsius. Scale goes from -3.0 degrees shown in deep blue to 0 degrees in white and then up to 3.0 degrees in deep red. Most of the map shows in varying shades of red indicating overall higher global temperatures.
This map shows global temperature anomalies for July 2023. The data are based on the GISTEMP analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Temperature anomalies reflect how July 2023 compared to the average July temperature from 1951-1980. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies

While the heatwave was a global phenomenon, certain regions experienced particularly extreme temperatures. Some examples were parts of South America, North Africa, North America, and the Antarctic Peninsula. These regions saw temperature increases of around 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) above their historical averages. Over the past four decades, this warming trend has become evident. The five hottest Julys since records began in 1880 all occurred in the five most recent years.

Scientists at NASA attributed the July heatwave, in part, to warm ocean temperatures. These temperatures have occurred particularly in the eastern tropical Pacific. These warm sea surface temperatures indicated the development of an El Niño event. El Niño is a climatic phenomenon that can contribute to year-to-year variability in global temperatures. But the full impacts of this El Niño are expected to become more pronounced in the months ahead, particularly in early 2024.

More on Deadly Heat Waves with Ashlee Autore

Ashlee Autore smiling for the camera

Ashlee Autore is a NASA Data Scientist with the My NASA Data team at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. Ashlee joined the My NASA Data team in 2022, after working with NASA's Atmospheric Science Data Center on the TEMPO (Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring Pollution) mission.

Beginning as early as April this year, parts of the world have been experiencing extreme heat and deadly heatwaves. Heat waves are among the deadliest natural hazards, as seen in the 2022 heat waves, which resulted in almost 40,000 deaths in Spain alone. Early-season heat waves can prove to be particularly debilitating, as people are less expectant and therefore less prepared. So far in 2023, South Western Europe, Southern Europe, Northern Africa, the U.S., Mexico, and China have experienced record heat. Both increased daily minimums and maximums have been seen, negatively affecting society in more than one way. Not only are more people being hospitalized for heat-related illnesses, but the heat is also affecting crop growth. Spain produces nearly 50% of the world's olive crop, and after having experienced an early-season heat wave, olive oil production this year is expected to be among the top three lowest in a decade. China's cotton production is in a similar situation, with Xinjiang producing almost 20% of the world's cotton and already seeing a decreased output. The increased intensity and duration of heat is also causing some of China's glaciers to melt, further resulting in floods and landslides.

How can you help protect yourself and your loved ones from the heat?

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing
  • Keep your living spaces cool, use fans & shades
  • Stay hydrated
  • Avoid going outside during the hottest times of day
  • Avoid strenuous activity

Visit the World Health Organization for more information and tips.