All around the world living things draw the water they depend on from a variety of different sources: from lakes, rivers and streams to deep underground reservoirs. All of this water, from subterranean aquifers to high mountain glaciers comes from rain and snow. Yet rain and snow fall around the Earth very unevenly, with some areas receiving hundreds of inches of rain per year, while others get almost nothing. The results of this uneven distribution of water can have world-altering consequences.
In order to understand the physics and dynamics behind precipitation, NASA uses satellite, aircraft and surface-based remote sensing observations and computer-based simulations of cloud and precipitation systems. Observing on scales ranging from individual clouds and thunderstorms through mesoscale convective systems and cyclonic storms, NASA documents the distribution of precipitation over time and space and the impact on regional and global climate.
On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, the Science, Technology and Business Division will welcome NASA Goddard Scientist, Dr. George J. Huffman, to the Library’s Pickford Theater at 11:30AM to discuss NASA’s use of satellite and surface data to understand the processes that create precipitation and how the results can be applied to analyze floods, droughts, and global weather and climate patterns; manage freshwater supplies; provide microinsurance against weather disasters in developing countries; and aid in forecasting agricultural production and outbreaks of some diseases. Come hear about the history and cutting-edge problems in this critical field, and see some really cool visuals!
Dr. George J. Huffman is a Research Physical Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) who focuses on satellite estimates of global precipitation. Projects Dr. Huffman has worked on include the Global Precipitation Climatology Project, the NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and the successor NASA Global Precipitation Measurements (GPM) Mission, for which is he now the Project Scientist as well as the lead for the Multi-satellite Algorithm Team. Dr. Huffman is the Chief for the Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes Lab at GSFC.
Program: Rain and Snow, in Your Backyard and Around the Globe
Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Place: Pickford Theater, 3rd floor, Madison Building, Library of Congress
If you are unable to attend this the program, it will be recorded and posted on the Library of Congress Event Videos collection page and on the Library’s YouTube channel “Topics in Science” playlist in the coming months. In the meantime, check out a selection of past NASA events on precipitation, weather and satellite monitoring:
Hurricane Hunting NASA Style: Using Space-Based and Airborne Measurements to Better Understand and Predict Hurricanes – June 13, 2019
Watching Water: New Approaches to Assessing & Managing Global Water Security & Sustainability – May 15, 2018
Measuring Our Underground Water Supplies from Space – Dec. 4, 2014
Finding Hot Towers in Hurricanes – Sept. 10, 2013
Predicting Disease Outbreaks from Space – May 18, 2011
Earth’s Water Cycle in a Changing Climate – June 4, 2008
For inquiries about this program, contact Sean Bryant in the Science, Technology & Business Division at [email protected] or the division office at: (202) 707-1212. Individuals requiring accommodations for this event should submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].
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