Understanding the Carbon and Water Cycles
using SMOS Data and Models

 CESBIO, Toulouse, France, 13-14 November 2014

The workshop summary is now available for download under the dedicated tab.


Land surface processes (e.g., global and continental water cycle, basin scale hydrology, carbon cycle and vegetation dynamics, snow and frozen soil dynamics) include a variety of critical feedbacks among radiative, hydrological, and biogeochemical processes resulting in complex exchanges of energy and matter that influence the overall Earth system and its climate. The observation, understanding and prediction of such processes are of critical importance for human life.

Advances in Earth observation (EO) technology integrated with in situ networks and models have demonstrated the potential to become a major tool to observe key variables and characterize major processes governing terrestrial processes and their interactions from global to local scales.

In this context, over the last four years, ESA’s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission has demonstrated its capacity to derive not only high quality soil moisture data, which is a key element of major land surface processes, but also its potential to contribute to a wide range of other observations, applications and scientific questions relevant to major terrestrial processes and climate.

The full exploitation of the SMOS observational capacity for land surface processes requires research efforts across disciplines and compartments to further consolidate emerging products, develop novel observations and to promote their effectively integration in advanced models.

To this end, this workshop aims at bringing together the EO, SMOS, Earth system science and modeling communities involved in the observation, characterization and forecasting of land surface processes and their impacts. In particular, the event represents a unique opportunity to facilitate the communications and scientific exchanges among these different communities in order to enhance the coordination of specific scientific efforts and advocate for a common view of major scientific needs and priority areas for the future.

The outcome of this workshop will include recommendations to further advance on (1) the development and validation of novel SMOS products and observations (also in synergy with other EO datasets), (2) the development of novel applications and science results that may exploit the full capacity of SMOS in the context of key land processes and their impacts on climate (3) the effective assimilation of SMOS observations and products into advanced model / data assimilation systems/approaches  and (4) the formulation of a research agenda that may guide ESA and other institutions to initiate dedicated future activities.

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