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Observing the Global Water Cycle from SpaceThis paper presents an approach to measuring all major components of the water cycle from space. Key elements of the global water cycle are discussed in terms of the storage of water-in the ocean, air, cloud and precipitation, in soil, ground water, snow and ice, and in lakes and rivers, and in terms of the global fluxes of water between these reservoirs. Approaches to measuring or otherwise evaluating the global water cycle are presented, and the limitations on known accuracy for many components of the water cycle are discussed, as are the characteristic spatial and temporal scales of the different water cycle components. Using these observational requirements for a global water cycle observing system, an approach to measuring the global water cycle from space is developed. The capabilities of various active and passive microwave instruments are discussed, as is the potential of supporting measurements from other sources. Examples of space observational systems, including TRMM/GPM precipitation measurement, cloud radars, soil moisture, sea surface salinity, temperature and humidity profiling, other measurement approaches and assimilation of the microwave and other data into interpretative computer models are discussed to develop the observational possibilities. The selection of orbits is then addressed, for orbit selection and antenna size/beamwidth considerations determine the sampling characteristics for satellite measurement systems. These considerations dictate a particular set of measurement possibilities, which are then matched to the observational sampling requirements based on the science. The results define a network of satellite instrumentation systems, many in low Earth orbit, a few in geostationary orbit, and all tied together through a sampling network that feeds the observations into a data-assimilative computer model.
Document ID
20050070876
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Hildebrand, P. H. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Meeting Information
AGU Fall Meeting(San Francisco, CA)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other