How is Earth’s freshwater – the most precious natural resource – distributed? To get a clear picture of this, NASA scientists are making observations from space.
For estimating the seasonal water storage variations in more than 50 river basins covering most of Earth’s land area, the NASA scientists are making use of data record of nearly 5 long years from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE).
The study of the variations will reveal the changes occurred in water stored in rivers, lakes, reservoirs; in floodplains as snow and ice; and also underground in soils and aquifers.
Professor Jay Famiglietti of the University of California-Irvine said,
Grace is providing a first-ever look at the distribution of freshwater storage on the continents. With longer time series, we can distinguish long-term trends from natural seasonal variations and track how water availability responds to natural climate variations and climate change.