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NASA Soil Moisture Mission to predict natural hazards

High-resolution global soil moisture map from SMAP's combined radar and radiometer instruments, acquired between May 4 and May 11, 2015, during SMAP's commissioning phase. The map has a resolution of 5.6 miles (9 kilometers). Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFCUS: NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission has begun science operations. The purpose of the mission is to investigate global soil moisture and detect whether soils are frozen or thawed. Scientists believe that the SMAP mission will help them understand links among Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles; reduce uncertainties in predicting climate; and enhance the ability to monitor and predict natural hazards like floods and droughts.The data has additional practical applications, including improved weather forecasting and crop yield predictions.

According to a spokesperson from NASA, SMAP's two instruments, which share a common antenna, produce the highest-resolution, most accurate soil moisture maps ever obtained from space.

Source: NASA