Earth scientists at JPL conduct research to characterize and understand the atmosphere, land, and oceans on our home planet to make better predictions of future changes. Research is carried out in laboratory studies, aircraft, balloon, ground and space-based observations, theoretical modeling, and data analysis.
Atmospheric science at JPL is conducted by a diverse set of researchers who track ozone recovery, quantify tropospheric pollutants such as aerosols, ozone, and carbon monoxide, and develop state-of-the-art atmospheric models. All of these efforts complement each other as instrument, lab study, and modeling teams collaborate to improve their measurements and understandings of current atmospheric conditions.
In recent years, many NASA missions have recorded the loss of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. By conducting research on ice sheets, glaciers, spring thaw patterns, and mass balance of the sea ice covers, researchers are getting a clearer picture of the cryosphere.
Solid earth studies at JPL involve a wide cross-section of researchers that specialize in remote sensing, topography, geodesy, geosciences, volcanology, hazard prediction. All of these research activities are supported by lab studies, models, and, in some cases, space-borne observational instruments.
Ocean science work at JPL focuses on global and regional ocean circulation, as well as the interactions of the oceans with the atmosphere and sea ice.