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 feedback. 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 recognized as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV) in 2010.
The Soil Moisture_cci project is part of the ESA Programme on Global Monitoring of Essential Climate Variables (ECV), better known as the Climate Change Initiative (CCI), initiated in 2010 and producing an updated soil moisture product every year. The ESA CCI Soil Moisture product has contributed to hundreds of hydrological and climatological studies worldwide, as well as the annual BAMS "State of the Climate" reports.
The CCI Soil Moisture project produces:
- Annually algorithmically updated global climate data record of soil moisture spanning over 40 years.
- 3 separate soil moisture products derived from active, passive and combined (active + passive) sensors and a break-adjusted product based on combined.
- 13 public releases to date, each updated with new sensors and extended time series.
The dataset ingests soil moisture datasets derived from the sensors listed in the figure above. In particular, the following datasets are used (at ESA CCI SM v07.1):
- ASCAT-A, -B and -C data are generated through the HSAF soil moisture project which can be accessed on the EUMETSAT HSAF soil moisture website. At v07.1, data records H119 is ingested.
- ERS data is processed by the Microwave Remote Sensing Group at TU Wien.
- All passive datasets are processed using the LPRMv7.1 algorithms (except for the L-band SMOS and SMAP datasets, processed with LPRMv6.2), designed and implemented by Vandersat.