NORFOLK, Va. - When you think of NASA, space exploration is normally the first thing to come to mind, but many of their missions actually focus on Earth.
Their view from space allows scientists to study some of the changes happening on Earth, including climate change.
"Right now, we have over 20 satellites up looking down back at Earth, and that can give us a really clear picture," Liz Hoy, a NASA senior support scientist, told News 3. "We are able to look at global temperatures, and we've seen that they've risen. We're able to look at sea level rise and see how that's changed over time. We're really able to put all of those pieces together."
It's work that directly impacts Hampton Roads as NASA studies things like hurricanes and sea level rise.
As the oceans get warmer, Hoy says we can expect to see more frequent and intense hurricanes.
"The warmer ocean waters can kind of add fuel to those storms, and then they can end up sitting over land and just having a lot of precipitation coming out of them," Hoy said.
A crew is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station Friday to carry astronauts and new instruments that will help with NASA's ongoing research.
Click here to learn more about NASA's missions and to find Earth Day activities for kids.