24 Sep '12, 9am

How the Drought Affected Earth’s Mass and Gravitational Pull

How the Drought Affected Earth’s Mass and Gravitational Pull

NASA/National Drought Mitigation Center /Public Domain We know the drought we experienced this year affected our gardens and farmlands, but did you know it could be detected from space? NASA/National Drought Mitigation Center /Public Domain NASA/National Drought Mitigation Center /Public Domain These maps are based on data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites. The paired satellites detect small changes in the Earth’s gravity field caused by the redistribution of water on and beneath the land surface. According to the National Drought Mitigation Center , the paired satellites travel about 137 miles (220km) apart and record small changes in the distance separating them as they encounter variations in the Earth’s gravitational field. As NASA points out, these maps are not an attempt to represent consumption of water on Earth, but rather, the ...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/how-drought-affecte...

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