Beautiful Earth with GPM

beautiful-earth-with-gpm

This is a musical and visual tour of Earth from space followed by a discussion with scientists from NASA's new rain and snow satellite – Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM).

During this one-hour event, students and teachers from across the country are invited to ask questions live on the theme of extreme weather. 

GPM is an international satellite mission to provide next-generation observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours. NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the GPM Core Observatory satellite on February 27, 2014, 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 design of the GPM Core Observatory is an advancement of TRMM's (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) highly successful rain-sensing package, which uses an active radar capable of providing information on precipitation particles, layer-by-layer, within clouds, and a passive microwave imager capable of sensing the total precipitation within all cloud layers. Since light rain and falling snow account for a significant fraction of precipitation occurrence in middle and high latitudes, the GPM instruments extend the capabilities of the TRMM sensors to detect falling snow, measure light rain, and provide, for the first time, quantitative estimates of microphysical properties of precipitation particles.

GPM's next-generation global precipitation data will lead to scientific advances and societal benefits in the following areas:

  • Improved knowledge of the Earth's water cycle and its link to climate change
  • New insights into precipitation microphysics, storm structures and large-scale atmospheric processes
  • Extended capabilities in monitoring and predicting hurricanes and other extreme weather events
  • Improved forecasting abilities for natural hazards, including floods, droughts and landslides.
  • Enhanced numerical prediction skills for weather and climate
  • Better agricultural crop forecasting and monitoring of freshwater resources

Precipitation data from the GPM and TRMM missions is made available free to the public in a variety of formats from several sources at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:

Video credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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