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2017-06-01. Seeing Soil Moisture from the Sky.

posted Jun 18, 2017, 4:00 PM by Alan Gould
By Jian Peng, Earth & Space Science News (EoS, AGU). For GSS ABCs of DEW Software chapter 6. Excerpt: It’s a hidden part of the hydrological cycle but moisture in the soil plays an important role in many processes and influences the climate. Soil moisture can be measured by instruments in the field or by remote sensing techniques. A recent review article in Reviews of Geophysics discussed soil moisture data obtained from satellite observations and the methods for “downscaling” the information.... Why is soil moisture important in the global climate system? Soil moisture is crucial for plant growth. It is also a source of water for evapotranspiration. Because the evaporation of soil moisture requires energy, soil moisture has strong impacts on the surface temperature. Through controlling the exchange of water, energy and carbon fluxes between the land surface and the atmosphere, it plays important roles in various processes and feedback loops within the Earth system. Specifically, the soil moisture influences agricultural and hydrological processes, drought development, runoff generation and many other processes. Due to its importance for climate system, the soil moisture has been recognized as one of the Essential Climate Variables by the Global Climate Observing System....  https://eos.org/editors-vox/seeing-soil-moisture-from-the-sky