- 28 Dec 2019
- 2 min read
Why in News
Recently, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched a seasonal campaign to understand how much water is contained in each winter’s snowfall and how much will be available when it melts in the spring.
- This campaign is part of a five-year programme called SnowEx which was initiated in 2016-17.
- The geographical focus of SnowEx is North America but NASA’s overall target is optimal strategies for mapping global snow water equivalent (SWE) with remote sensing and models leading to “Earth System Explorer” mission.
- NASA currently has no global satellite mission to track and study SWE.
- Snow is a vital source of water for drinking, agriculture and electrical power in the western United States and other locations around the world. To know how much water will be available the following spring, water resource managers and hydrologists need to know where snow has fallen, how much there is and how do characteristics change as it melts.
Remote sensing: It is the science of obtaining information about objects or areas from a distance, typically from aircraft or satellites.