613 Seminar: Randal Koster

NASA/Global Modeling and Assimilation Office

This seminar is actually a merger of two mini-seminars, both with a focus on soil moisture, an important component of the Earth system.  (Don’t worry; I won’t let the seminar go long!)  The first mini-seminar outlines an approach for estimating rainfall amounts from satellite-based surface soil moisture data, as produced, for example, by the Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) mission.  Precipitation rates so estimated are found, when compared to gauge-based observations, to be quite accurate, suggesting that the soil moisture-based estimates could potentially contribute to global precipitation estimation efforts, particularly in areas that are not well gauged.  The second mini-seminar describes a series of AGCM experiments showing how dry soil moisture anomalies in various parts of North America can influence the atmospheric general circulation and thereby affect, for example, temperatures and precipitation rates outside the areas where these dry anomalies are imposed.  Analysis of observations-based data provides supporting evidence for this AGCM-based picture of remote land-atmosphere feedback.