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NASA Satellites Reveal Major Shifts in Global Freshwater

In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists have combined an array of NASA satellite observations of Earth with data on human activities to map locations where freshwater is changing around the globe and to determine why.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, finds that Earth’s wet land areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier due to a variety of factors, including human water management, climate change and natural cycles.

A team led by Matt Rodell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, used 14 years of observations from the U.S./German-led Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) spacecraft mission to track global trends in freshwater in 34 regions around the world.


NASA Launches Pioneering Soil Moisture Mapping Satellite

"Scientists and policymakers will use SMAP data to track water movement around our planet and make more informed decisions in critical areas like agriculture and water resources," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. SMAP also will detect whether the ground is frozen or thawed. Detecting variations in the timing of spring thaw and changes in the length of the growing season will help scientists more accurately account for how much carbon plants are removing from Earth's atmosphere each year.


NASA Announces New Mission to Track Water in Earth’s Soil

 

A new NASA satellite that will peer into the topmost layer of Earth's soils to measure the hidden waters that influence our weather and climate is in final preparations for a January 29, 2015 dawn launch from California. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will take the pulse of a key measure of our water planet: how freshwater cycles over Earth's land surfaces in the form of soil moisture. This data will be used to enhance scientists' understanding of the processes that link Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles.


NASA’s OCO-2 Brings Sharp New Focus on Global Carbon

. In July 2014, NASA will launch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) to study the fate of carbon dioxide worldwide. Natural processes are working hard to keep the carbon cycle in balance by absorbing about half of our carbon emissions, limiting the extent of climate change. There's a lot we don't know about these processes, including where they are occurring and how they might change as the climate warms. To understand and prepare for the carbon cycle of the future, we have an urgent need to find out.

 

 

 

 


Scientists To Study Pacific Ocean's "Global Chimney"

Remote waters affect billions of people, shape climate and air chemistry worldwide

The remote waters of the Western tropical Pacific Ocean region affect billions of people by shaping climate and air chemistry worldwide. Beginning the week of January 13, 2014, scientists will head to the region to better understand its influence on the atmosphere, including how that influence may change in coming decades if storms over the Pacific become more powerful with rising global temperatures.

NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East

A new study using data from a pair of gravity-measuring NASA satellites finds that large parts of the arid Middle East region lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade.


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