New near-real-time satellite soil moisture service assists drought monitoring in Europe
The Climate and Environmental Remote Sensing (CLIMERS) Group at TU Wien GEO has developed, in collaboration with the Austrian Earth Observation Centre and the Dutch Earth observation company VanderSat, a new global monitoring service of soil moisture conditions measured by satellites.
The soil moisture service is part of the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S; http://climate.copernicus.eu/) and provides historical and recent soil moisture conditions only a few days after satellite overpass. While the official service will take up full service in January 2018, the data can already be viewed at http://rs.geo.tuwien.ac.at/data_viewer/c3s/.
The near-real-time monitoring capability allows users to track ongoing weather extremes like floods and droughts. For example, the Italian national Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection IRPI-CNR has used our C3S soil moisture data to track the recent extreme drought conditions in Italy, which has been broadly covered by the media:
- European Space Agency web story on current Italian drought (in English and Italian)
- Adnkronos article on current drought in Italy (in Italian)
- Article on teatronaturale.it (in Italian)
Wouter Dorigo has been interviewed by Euronews about recent trends in C3S soil moisture in a global change context.