Friday, February 28, 2014

New Satellite Will Improve Climate and Weather Forecasts

A Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, is seen launching from the Tanegashima Space Center in Tanegashima, Japan. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls) Click to enlarge.
The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), thundered into space Thursday, Feb. 27 from Japan.

While the data current satellites provide are crucial, they don’t show how much precipitation falls in all locations or how storms evolve and move.  By filling in those gaps with the improved data, scientists can improve weather and seasonal climate forecasts.  The satellite could also provide valuable real-time information about the intensity and track of large storms like Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines last year.  That information would be a boon to disaster managers trying to make accurate and timely decisions.

Climate change predictions will also get an upgrade as scientists will be able to better monitor how the water cycle is shifting.  Precipitation patterns are already shifting around the globe and scientists will be better able to track those changes and improve climate models.

New Satellite Will Improve Climate and Weather Forecasts

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