2022-08-10

As several parts of India are witnessing extreme hot weather, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA, recently shared an image that shows “heat islands” in and around Delhi.

The US space agency, NASA, has deployed a satellite instrument called Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment On Space Station (ECOSTRESS), which measures temperatures of the ground from space.

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The space agency released an image depicting Delhi’s ground temperatures recorded earlier this month. The “heat islands” are visible in the image as red spots.

This image, taken shortly before local midnight on May 5, shows urban areas and agricultural lands northwest of Delhi (the large red area in the lower right). The image covers about 4,800 square miles (12,350 square kilometers).

NASA said that the temperature in Delhi’s urban “heat islands” and neighbouring villages reached 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius) while surrounding areas were nearly 40 degrees Fahrenheit (nearly 5 degrees Celsius) colder.

What is ECOSTRESS?

The instrument was launched to the space station in 2018. Its primary mission is to identify plants’ thresholds for water use and water stress, giving insight into their ability to adapt to a warming climate.

However, ECOSTRESS also records other heat-related phenomena, like this heatwave.

Meanwhile, on Sunday (May 15), the maximum temperature recorded in the national capital reached 49 degrees Celsius, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD).

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