Nearly four decades of soil moisture data now available
03 November 2017
A new, long-term and global dataset of soil moisture measurements from space has been released to help us better understand the water cycle and climate, monitor agriculture and manage our water resources.
The amount of water held in global soils makes up only about 0.001% of the total water found on Earth, but still plays a crucial role in regulating plant growth, our weather and climate.
This is because soil moisture is a key variable controlling the exchange of water and energy between the land and the atmosphere: dry soil emits little or no moisture to the atmosphere and heats up more strongly during a hot day, thus intensifying heatwaves. Wet soils, on the other hand, have a cooling effect on the atmosphere.
Top story on Copernicus
08 November 2017
A constellation of small satellites that provide data on Earth's ice and soil moisture content to complement the Sentinel fleet took the top prize at this year's Copernicus Masters Competition.
The awards ceremony took place on 07 November, in Tallinn, Estonia, in front of an international audience during European Space Week as part of the Satellite Masters Conference & Horizon 2020 Space Info Day.
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