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Adding value to soil moisture information for climate studies

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As part of ESA CCI soil moisture activities, the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) funded the International Team „Adding value to soil moisture information for climate studies“, led by William Lahoz (NILU). One of the goals of the team was to strengthen links between the ESA CCI Soil Moisture community, other land surface ESA CCIs, and the carbon cycle community. The International Team had its second and last meeting in November 2015.

During this meeting, the team discussed a number of key features that need to be considered for the ESA CCI soil moisture product. These features included the representation of soil moisture in volumetric units and anomalies, the ability and need to provide solely satellite based soil moisture products and the development of an additional root-zone soil moisture product. The development of a root-zone product typically requires a model in combination with data assimilation.
The outcome from this meeting will be two scientific papers. The first paper concerns a discussion of validation methods of soil moisture datasets. The second paper concerns sensitivity studies of the impact of ancillary data on soil moisture. Furthermore, cross CCI activities were initiated between the land cover and soil moisture teams and the added value of soil moisture in flood forecasting was investigated.
Overall, the team had a fruitful meeting, with many discussions on the ESA CCI soil moisture work, and the ways to increase collaboration between the various actors in the land component of the Earth system. This confirmed the value of International Teams from ISSI.