Why bother for 0.0001% of Earth's water? Challenges for soil moisture research
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©1996. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 77, Issue 43, page 420, 22 October 1996
How to Cite
1996), Why bother for 0.0001% of Earth's water? Challenges for soil moisture research, Eos Trans. AGU, 77(43), 420–420, doi:10.1029/96EO00290., and (
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Cited By
For each kilogram of water on Earth, only 1 mg is stored as soil moisture. Yet this miniscule amount of water exerts significant control over various hydrological, ecological, and meteorological processes ranging from boundary layer dynamics to the global water cycle. The 1993 Mississippi River flood illustrated the power of 0.0001% of Earth's water to dictate the fate and evolution of regional weather and climate.
The space-time distribution of soil moisture is a key component in describing transfer and distribution of mass and energy between the land and the atmosphere. It is a fundamental variable in biosphere-atmosphere transfer, biogeochemistry, ecosystem process, and rainfall-runoff models. There is a growing consensus that a unified approach is necessary to monitor, characterize, and model soil moisture over a range of scales, but such an approach has yet to be defined.