The world’s rain
This is an absolutely spectacular video. One year ago today,
NASA launched a new member of its Earth-Observing satellite fleet, the Global
Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite (http://tmblr.co/Zyv2Js18hkg0z). Its
job; measure rain over the entire planet.
In the 1990s, NASA launched a satellite called TRMM – the
Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, designed to measure how much rain falls
throughout the tropical regions of Earth. That mission has been extraordinarily
successful; it still is collecting useful data to this day.
Beyond just its longevity, the science it has enabled is
amazing. If researchers want to study how fast mountains are eroding in the
tropics, whether erosion patterns match rainfall patterns, whether pollution is
causing a change in rainfall patterns, or how tropical rainfall patterns are
impacted by a warming world, the TRMM mission has produced a multi-decade
record where the answers may be found.
The GPM mission is the successor to TRMM: using multiple
satellites linked together in a system with the GPM satellite as its keystone,
it is capable of a more precise measurement and covers almost the entire world
rather than just the tropics. This video shows rainfall throughout the world
over a 6-month period after GPM launched.