Water has always been regarded as vital in everyone's lives making it as an essential part of survival. As a matter of fact, experts have revealed that both seasonal and year-round snowpack are all considered as vital parts of the Earth's water cycle and its freshwater reserves. Recognizing this, NASA authorities have recently launched SnowEx, their newest endeavor in investigating the planet's snow and the relationship of this snow to the readily available liquid water.
SnowEx And Its Objectives
According to reports by Live Science, SnowEx is a multiyear airborne research campaign spearheaded by NASA scientists, which seeks to improve methods used to measure snow depth and volume. It was found that by testing certain equipment and techniques for calculating the amount of water contained in snow cover, NASA scientists reportedly aims to improve their understanding as to how fluctuations in snow accumulation affects water accessibility all over the world such as for agriculture, power and drinking. Authorities from the space agency have also revealed that they will be working in partnership with dozens of scientists from across the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Furthermore, in one of his statements reported by ABC News, Ed Kim, a NASA researcher and lead scientist for SnowEx has revealed that nearly one-sixth of the world's population gets most of its fresh water from the snow that melts and runs into waterways and that alone is already a huge importance, he claimed. Additionally, the lead scientist have also explained that snow has other consequences and implications for society as well, such as floods, droughts and even political stability especially in a condition where water is scarce. Thus, Kim claims that the key to predicting how much water will pour out of mountain snows each spring is a measurement called snow water equivalent.
Meanwhile, experts have anticipated that at times during the winter, some snow melts, so water will flow through the interior of the snowbank, which is then the reason for the distortion or absorption of the signals from remote sensors. So consequently, NASA reveals that they will be using two SnowEx sensors which will measure snow depth: Radar and LIDAR, or light detection and ranging which allegedly uses laser pulses to measure distance. Ultimately, it was found that the scientists will also be working on the ground at two Colorado sites: Grand Mesa and Senator Beck Basin where it is said that the data which will be collected during fieldwork will serve to verify the findings of remote-sensing aircraft and the results will help to determine SnowEx goals in the coming years.