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Thirty Years of Global Soil Moisture Measurements from Space

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The CCI Soil Moisture project is proud to announce the public release of the ECV soil moisture data set generated within the WACMOS and CCI Soil Moisture projects. The global soil moisture data set has been generated using active and passive microwave spaceborne instruments and covers the 36 year period from 1978 to 2013.

The soil moisture data record was generated by merging two soil moisture data sets, one derived from active microwave observations and the other from passive microwave observations. The active data set was generated by the Vienna University of Vienna (TU Wien) based on observations from the C-band scatterometers on board of ERS-1, ERS-2 and METOP-A. The passive data set was generated by the VU University Amsterdam in collaboration with NASA based on passive microwave observations from Nimbus 7 SMMR, DMSP SSM/I, TRMM TMI and Aqua AMSR-E.

These activities were initiated within the Water Cycle Multi-mission Observation Strategy (WACMOS) project inside ESA’s Support To Science Element programme, and are now being continued and refined in the context of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) and specifically this CCI Soil Moisture project.

The merged product is freely available after completion of a simple registration. User Registration can be found here.

An animated video, providing a visualisation of the data set has been created under the WACMOS project and is available for viewing.

A data viewer, hosting monthly mean surface soil moisture and anomaly is available, along with an explanatory screencast, from TU Wien. Please note that the viewer is best viewed with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox Browsers.