The future of the world’s climate is determined by various parameters, such as the density of clouds or the mass of the Antarctic ice sheet. One of these crucial climate parameters is soil moisture, which is hard to measure on a global scale. Now, the European Space Agency (ESA), in cooperation with the Vienna University of Technology (Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing) and the Free University of Amsterdam, is presenting a data set, containing global soil moisture data from 1978 to 2010. This was possible by extensive mathematical analysis of satellite data
Warmer Climate Changes Soil Moisture
Even though soil moisture makes up only about 0.001 % of the total water found on earth, it plays a crucial rule in the climate system. “The link between climate and soil moisture is still not well understood, because so far reliable long-term data has not been available”, says professor Wolfgang Wagner (Vienna University of Technology). One of the predicted consequences of global warming is that warming will lead to higher evaporation rates and hence soil drying in some regions.