What the Earth's Soil Can Tell Us About Our Climate

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On January 29, 2015, NASA plans to launch the SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) satellite. The satellite is designed to map moisture in the soil all around the globe. This will help scientists improve weather models and forecasting, understand droughts better, and possibly predict flooding.

According to SMAP science team leader Dara Entekhabi, "What the soil measurements will do is improve our weather forecasts, improve our assessments of water availability and also address some issues dealing with long-term climate variability and assessments of the impact of human intervention in the global environment." Christine Bonniksen, NASA SMAP program executive, elaborates: "Soil moisture is a key part of the three cycles that support life on this planet: the water cycle, the energy cycle and the carbon cycle. These things affect human interest: flood, drought, disease control, weather."

Check out this list for more information on soil and the environment and how they affect life on Earth.
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