What is GLOBE?

The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international program that provides the public an opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process and contributes meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment.  Announced by the U.S. Government on Earth Day in 1994, GLOBE launched its worldwide implementation in 1995.

El Niño and La Niña are important climatic phenomena that affect the climate globally, causing flooding and droughts as well as changes in seasonal weather patterns. The GLOBE El Niño Field Campaign relies on trained citizen scientists to collect and share important local data to discover where and how much El Niño’s global impact affects local climates.

You have probably observed changes in weather patterns in your community — a drier-than-usual spring, an extra-cold winter.  This project is your opportunity to learn more about the changes where you are and help NASA ground-truth satellite data measuring global snapshots.

Four Protocols to Collect Data for the El Nino campaign.

To support GLOBE in this long-term campaign, we are recruiting, training, and equipping participants for four separate but related protocols representing a range of commitments from a light touch to an in-depth experience, based on the needs and interests of you and your community.

The four protocols range from atmosphere to ground observations; from very simple to more complex:

  1. The cloud protocol: a quick assessment of the type and density of cloud cover as viewed from the collection site.
  2. The surface temperature protocol: uses a simple tool to capture nine measurements that are averaged to submit a reading to GLOBE.
  3. The precipitation protocol: documents rainfall from day to day or more frequently on a rainy day to provide data about rainfall volumes and rates
  4. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) protocol: provides data about soil moisture that can be used to ground truth a NASA satellite that is in orbit.

All of these protocols help us to understand how climate change affects the global water cycle.  Changes in the water cycle, such as increased periods of drought and increases in rain or snowfall, significantly impact people’s lives, biodiversity, food production and more. Some regions will see the impact of climate change long before others, but all of us will be affected by changing water patterns in our lifetime. The more granular data we have from citizen scientists, the more we can understand the changes and how to mitigate them.  

Steps to Participation