NASA has just given green light for a new epic project to start. The mission will take five years, and its main purpose is to determine how much water stored in snow Earth really has. While people have information about all kinds of water supplies, this aspect has been neglected altogether. However, NASA scientists started seeing snow as a key element in building vital resources enough for everybody on this planet. While mountains are covered in snow during winter seasons, the spring melts it away and fuels rivers with fresh water. People are eventually going to use these resources to irrigate crops, fuel their electric generators, and satiating people and wildlife alike. This is why it is important for the world to be knowledgeable about the global water storage, sources of snow, and how it melts and accumulates over time.
Our Blue Planet has many regions covered in snow such as the tundra, prairies, sea ice, mountains, and others. However, the most difficult locations for scientists to penetrate are the forests. These virgin territories have been hindering NASA to understand how and why snow is changing for a long time now. However, the space agency has a plan to overcome this obstacle that is consolidated into SnowEx project.
NASA wants to know exactly the volume of the global water storage to understand and improve a multitude of fields such as agriculture and hydropower. This is why SnowEx has already begun using five aircraft. These are currently testing ten different sensors that scientists will employ to record snow activity from space. A member of this project, Noah Molotch, stated that such an initiative would help them predict water supplies. This is because about one sixth of the entire humankind is using fresh water that used to be in the form of snow.
The project is going to last for five years, and the space agency needs dozens of scientists from U.S., Canada, and Europe to cover the extent of such a mission. The findings of SnowEx will not only help people streamline their agriculture practices, but also protect them from the harm caused by the negative side of such precious asset. Snow can also lead to avalanches, floods, and droughts. As a side effect, water shortage can even put the political balance in jeopardy. The ultimate lesson that scientists seek to learn from this experiment is a measurement called snow-water equivalent. This will help them predict the volume of water the mountain snow will turn into.
Image source: 1