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Soil Moisture Essential Climate Variable

The important role of soil moisture for the environment and climate system is well known. Soil moisture influences hydrological and agricultural processes, runoff generation, drought development and many other processes. It also impacts on the climate system through atmospheric feedbacks. Soil moisture is a source of water for evapotranspiration over the continents, and is involved in both the water and the energy cycles. Soil moisture was recognised as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV) in 2010.


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Soil moisture seasonality (climatology) derived from the combination of six active and passive sensors over the period 1979 to 2010 (Source: TUW)

DOWNLOAD the CCI Soil Moisture dataset

The objective of the Soil Moisture CCI is to produce the most complete and most consistent global soil moisture data record based on active and passive microwave sensors. Read more »

Why is it dry in California? 35 years of satellite data may help

'Since 1978 we have satellites gathering data on soil moisture. More than 35 years of data. We  need to make better use of that. So we're building datasets that help us better understand droughts, and predict them.' Read more »

PhD-student and Postdoctoral researcher positions in Earth Observation of Water and Vegetation

The Remote Sensing Research Group at the Department of Geodesy of the Vienna University of Technology invites applications for a PhD-student and Postdoctoral researcher position within the EO-WAVE project. Read more »

Phase 2 building upon the success of Phase 1

With the overarching goal of Phase 1 (2012-14) achieved, we are very happy to announce that the CCI SM project is now (Jan 2015) successfully in Phase 2. The Earth Observation Data Centre for Water Resources Monitoring GmbH (EODC) takes pride in its role as the prime contractor for this phase, with the rest of the consortium remaining largely unchanged from the Phase 1 team. Read more »

Wouter Dorigo receives Science Award of the Vienna University of Technology

On 23 January 2015 Wouter Dorigo, co-science lead and Earth Observation lead of the CCI soil moisture team, received the Science Award of the Vienna University of Technology for his outstanding research on soil moisture and climate. Read more »

Product update: ESA CCI SM v02.1 available

Due to a few minor changes to the soil moisture product, an updated version is now available. For more information on the changes, please check the readme.txt and changelog.txt files before downloading the data set.

Latest CCI Soil Moisture Newletter published


The 2nd issue of the CCI Soil Moisture newsletter highlights the latest product release and its key improvements, including now 35 years of remotely sensed soil moisture data. Furthermore, project achievements, latest publications and an analysis of the growing user community are featured.

New high-level publications about the soil moisture product


CCI Soil Moisture scientists have published latest research results about the soil moisture data set in high-level journals. Read more »

ECV SM product update: new version covers 35 years of remotely sensed surface soil moisture

The CCI Soil Moisture project is pleased to announce the publication of the latest product release - ECV SM 02.0. Besides three more years of data, now covering the period 1978 – 2013, the revised product 02.0 includes improved gap filling, new data attributes, and a revision of scaling approaches for certain sensors. Read more »

Soil Moisture CCI contributes to the US National Climate Assessment

The US National Climate Assessment report highlights the importance of soil moisture for the water cycle and its changes due to climate change. The report features the CCI Soil Moisture product on page 72 - 73, showing changes in annual surface soil moisture per year from 1988 to 2010 for the United States.

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