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Satellite will track regularly all of world’s 6 million water lakes and reservoirs

Global water cycle seems dynamic these times. And there are a lot of intiatives keeping track of it.

A few weeks ago we posted about offshore aquifers - yes, under the sea bed - that were found at the coast of United States, using new electromagnetic geophysical methods.

And early yesterday, 16 December, a joint satellite by US NASA and the French National Centre for Space Studies was launched to measure Earth’s seas, rivers and lakes in ground-breaking detail. The "Surface Water and Ocean Topography" (SWOT) satellite promises to be a game-changer for research into climate change and global water supply. There are currently publicly available data for just 10,000–20,000 lakes and reservoirs larger than one hectare on the planet. The US$1.2-billion satellite’s radar will track water height, extent and elevation change in nearly all 6 million lakes and reservoirs every 10 or 11 days. It will also estimate river flow rates with unprecedented accuracy and give scientists their first 3D view of ocean eddies. And will be able to detect perturbations around 10 kilometres wide.

Note that France is quite active in these environmental fronts. Recall here our recent post about the largest hydrogen plant on Earth, in the Northern border of the Amazon area, in the French Guiana.

Click at the image below to know more about the "Surface Water and Ocean Topography" projet and navigate the resources at NASA's mission website. And here for an article from Nature.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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