The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission’s scientific achievements and societal contributions: reviewing four years of advanced rain and snow observations
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The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission’s scientific achievements and societal contributions: reviewing four years of advanced rain and snow observations

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  • Journal Title:
    Quarterly journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. Royal Meteorological Society (Great Britain)
  • Description:
    Precipitation represents a life‐critical energy and hydrologic exchange between the Earth's atmosphere and its surface. As such, knowledge of where, when and how much rain and snow falls is essential for scientific research and societal applications. Building on the 17‐year success of the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM), the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory (GPM‐CO) is the first US National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) satellite mission specifically designed with sensors to observe the structure and intensities of both rain and falling snow. The GPM‐CO has proved to be a worthy successor to TRMM, extending and improving high‐quality active and passive microwave observations across all times of day. The GPM‐CO launched in early 2014, is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), with sensors that include the NASA‐provided GPM Microwave Imager and the JAXA‐provided Dual‐frequency Precipitation Radar. These sensors were devised with high accuracy standards enabling them to be used as a reference for inter‐calibrating a constellation of partner satellite data. These inter‐calibrated partner satellite retrievals are used with infrared data to produce merged precipitation estimates at temporal scales of 30 min and spatial scales of 0.1° × 0.1°. Precipitation estimates from the GPM‐CO and partner constellation satellites, provided in near real time and later reprocessed with all ancillary data, are an indispensable source of precipitation data for operational and scientific users. Advances have been made using GPM data, primarily in improving sensor calibration, retrieval algorithms, and ground validation measurements, and used to further our understanding of the characteristics of liquid and frozen precipitation and the science of water and hydrological cycles for climate/weather forecasting. These advances have extended to societal benefits related to water resources, operational numerical weather prediction, hurricane monitoring, prediction, and disaster response, extremes, and disease.
  • Source:
    Royal Society
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    Public Domain
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