When strong winds on one continent stir up mineral rock dust, those airborne particles can travel thousands of miles and affect entirely different continents. The suspended dust in the air can heat or cool the atmosphere and Earth’s surface. That heating or cooling effect is the focus of NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) mission, which will measure the surface composition of Earth's deserts and arid regions, helping us understand the impacts dust has on the planet's climate. EMIT’s versatile imaging spectrometer can also help map super-emitters of methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – from space, and is already contributing to meaningful climate action.
Dr. Robert Green, principal investigator, EMIT, NASA JPL
Nikki Wyrick , public services office, NASA JPL
Jocelyn Argueta, public outreach specialist, NASA JPL