Video TitleGPM: The Fresh(water) Connection
In this video NASA scientists discuss why it is so important to study and track Earth's freshwater resources, and explain the purpose of the Global Precipitation Measurement mission.
Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) is an international satellite mission to provide next-generation observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours. NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will launch a “Core” satellite carrying advanced instruments that will set a new standard for precipitation measurements from space. The data they provide will be used to unify precipitation measurements made by an international network of partner satellites to quantify when, where, and how much it rains or snows around the world.
The GPM mission will help advance our understanding of Earth's water and energy cycles, improve the forecasting of extreme events that cause natural disasters, and extend current capabilities of using satellite precipitation information to directly benefit society.
Only three percent of water on Earth resides as freshwater. And only a tiny fraction of that is actually accessible to us on the surface.
Seven billion of us live on the planet. We all have to drink water to live. Where's the water that we drink come from?
By and large: precipitation.
GPM is an international satellite mission, providing a new generation of observations of rain and snow in all parts of the world, every three hours.
If you have good precipitation information you can do a very good job characterizing drought, and often its subsequent impact on agricultural productivity.
There's about one major flood a day, someplace in the world. So it's not as if it's a rare event.
Understanding how much snow is falling is important for transportation, safety, how much freshwater falls and is stored in snowpacks.
What we really need to focus on is all the phases of precipitation so that we know what the global picture of where freshwater exists in the Earth system.