Feb 20, 2017 03:22 AM EST
NASA Experts Look To Snow For Water Availability
NASA is not just looking to outer space for answers to life. The space exploration agency is also looking inwards, to Earth's own resources, for solutions.
Which is why NASA's experts are looking into snow and its effects on water resources. Water is the most vital resource when it comes to all life on the planet. In order for life to survive, water should be present on Earth. However, only a fraction of the Earth is part water.
In NASA's report, only 3 percent is freshwater. Out of that 3 percent, only 30 percent is accessible. The other 70 percent cannot be accessed because water is stored in ice, glaciers and permanent snow covers or snow packs, as reported by Live Science.
The NASA SnowEx campaign's aim is to test new approaches for mapping snow water equivalent in other areas, such as mountain regions or forested areas. After measuring, NASA then studies its relationship to readily available liquid water.
Led by NASA Goddard and in partnership with the International Snow Remote Sensing Work Group, SnowEx has been progressive in its studies since 2015. Researchers from different fields and respects from all over launched the first SnowEx workshop in July 2015. A second workshop was launched in March of 2016. This year, Winter 1, which ends on Feb. 24, is using high tech tools to measure snow.
Because snow is reportedly supporting the nation's water supply, Edward Kim, a NASA SnowEx researcher, says that this year's campaign is the most comprehensive they have ever done. He explains that a snow pack is mostly air (about 40 to 95 percent).
So with the use of LidAR and radar, and other sensors, NASA SnowEx experts are collecting multi-sensor observations. They are also planning on filling critical gaps needed for further analysis, as reported by NASA SnowEx. The results from February's observations will help determine future plans and NASA goals in the next few years.
Watch the NASA SnowEx video clip below for more details into the study:
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