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Satellite Images Capture Rare Phenomenon Happening on Hillsides of California

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After being battered by record-breaking snowfall and devastating floods, California is now in the midst of a massive wildflower bloom.

“This is how we feed our souls,” said Heather Schneider, a rare plant biologist with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, according to The New York Times.

“I kind of think of it in waves of color,” she said, noting that what begins as fields of yellow evolves into purple.

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This year’s spectacle is visible from space, according to NASA.

The Operational Land Imager-2 on the satellite Landsat 9, recently captured the colors in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, showing a greener and more colorful landscape than existed a year ago.

What’s known as a superbloom takes place when southern California’s desert areas are cooler and wetter than normal.

But it’s not quite that simple. Too much rain means grass will outpace the flowers, Richard Minnich, a professor of earth sciences at UC Riverside, said according to CBS.

Defining a superbloom is not scientific Cameron Barrows, an associate research ecologist at UC Riverside’s Center for Conservation Biology, said.

“The superbloom is really a cultural phenomenon, where people decide that there are enough flowers here, right now, that we’ll call it a superbloom,” said Daniel Winkler, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Joan Dudney, an assistant professor at the department of environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara, said the superbloom has an ugly side.

“It’s really hard as a naturalist to enjoy the places that are overrun with tourists and Instagram models and people that are not used to being out in these places,” Dudney said.

She said tourists too often are “out there for the spectacle” and “haven’t yet developed a connection with these natural spaces.”

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the satellite helped humans better understand their planet, according to NASA.

Is California’s landscape beautiful?

NASA uses the unique assets of our own unprecedented fleet, as well as the instruments of other nations, to study our own planet and its climate systems,” he said.

“With a 50-year data bank to build on, Landsat 9 will take this historic and invaluable global program to the next level. We look forward to working with our partners at the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior again on Landsat Next because we never stop advancing our work to understand our planet.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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