Water is fundamental to life on Earth. Knowing where and how much rain and snow falls globally is vital to understanding how weather and climate impact both our environment and Earth's water and energy cycles, including effects on agriculture, fresh water availability, and responses to natural disasters. Since rainfall and snowfall vary greatly from place to place and over time, satellites can provide more uniform observations of rain and snow around the globe than ground instruments, especially in areas where surface measurements are difficult. 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
Better understanding of climate sensitivity and feedback processes
Extended capabilities in monitoring and predicting hurricanes and other extreme weather events
Improved forecasting capabilities 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.
Researchers need accurate and timely rainfall information to better understand and model where and when severe floods, frequent landslides and devastating droughts may occur. GPM's global rainfall data will help to better prepare and respond to a wide range of natural disasters.
On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene hit Vermont, causing widespread damage and the worst flooding in 75 years. Irene's impact in New England shows that tropical cyclones can greatly affect regions outside the view of TRMM. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission will build upon TRMM's legacy by examining a larger swath of Earth with more sensitive instruments.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 18.104.22.168.0