Soil Moisture

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The important role of soil moisture for the environment and climate system is well known. Soil moisture influences hydrological and agricultural processes, runoff generation, drought development and many other processes. It also impacts on the climate system through atmospheric feedbacks. Soil moisture is a source of water for evapotranspiration over the continents, and is involved in both the water and the energy cycles. Soil moisture was recognised as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV) in 2010.

The Soil Moisture CCI project is part of the ESA Programme on Global Monitoring of Essential Climate Variables (ECV), better known as the Climate Change Initiative (CCI), initiated in 2010 for a period of 6 years. The CCI Programme wants to contribute to the data bases collecting ECVs required by GCOS (Global Climate Observing System) and other international parties.

In particular, the Soil Moisture CCI will:

  • Analyse the needs of the climate research community in terms of soil moisture data.
  • Adapt soil moisture satellite measurements for their use by the climate research community.
  • Create a long-term consistent soil moisture time series, based on active and passive data, suitable for climate change studies.

Soil Moisture products & equivalent CMIP5/Obs4MIPs Parameters

The table below shows the Soil Moisture outputs that has an equivalent CMIP5 parameters and hence is suitable for submission to Obs4MIPs (Observations for Model Intercomparisons), an activity to make observational products more accessible for climate model intercomparisons.

CMIP5 Table CMIP5 Matching Parameter : CMIP5 Name Priority
Volumetric Soil Moisture Lmon Moisture in upper portion of soil column: mrsos 1