NASA's soil moisture mapper (SMAP) was launched on 31 January to map and detect global soil moisture. These maps will support the understanding of the interlinkages of Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles. The monitoring of SMAP will also promote weather and climate prediction as well as the monitoring of natural hazards.
NASA's ER-2 instrumented research aircraft is supporting CalWater 2015, a multiagency, interdisciplinary field campaign, designed to improve the understanding of when and how California ends up on the receiving end of atmospheric rivers. Atmospheric rivers are short-lived weather events that carry a flood of moisture from the tropics to the U.S. West Coast. The instrument also measures how much rain these events can bring, which is a crucial concern in the state’s ongoing historic drought.
Scientists of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, have found that the south-west and the central plains of the United States of America could face super-droughts in the future.
The study published in the journal Science Advances compares earlier droughts with climate simulations for the coming decades. The team reconstructed past climate conditions and compared these with 17 climate models and soil moisture assessments.
NASA and the governments of Cyprus, Brunei and Argentina have recently invested in the development of new Search and Rescue (SAR) network infrastructure solutions and next-generation Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) systems.
The French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) is developing the oceanography satellite SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography), that will incorporate unprecedented technological innovations to observe the ocean surface and underlying physical processes.