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Earth Observation and Water Cycle Science

10 December 2008


ESA in collaboration with EGU, ISPRS and GEWEX organise the Topical Conference: EO and Water Cycle Science: Towards a Water Cycle Multi-Mission Observation Strategy. The Conference will take place in ESA-ESRIN the next 18-20 November, 2009.

To access the conference web site please, click HERE.


Recent advances in Earth observation (EO) satellites have made possible improved global observations of several key parameters governing the global water cycle. In the coming years the increasing number of EO missions to be launched by space agencies will provide an unprecedented capacity to observe the earth surface, its interior and the atmosphere, opening a new era in EO and water cycle science. The full exploitation of this capacity by scientific and institutional users, in particular for water resources management under climate change, requires coordinated research efforts to develop robust global and regional operational products using observation and modeling systems and data assimilation capabilities. The purpose of this topical conference is to advance our knowledge on water cycle at different scales in space and time; to accelerate the development of robust global and regional geo-information data products to characterise and model the water cycle from global to regional (basin) scales; and to improve existing models and data assimilation systems to support global water cycle predictions, climate change impacts and development of mitigation strategies in water resources management.


The specific objectives of this topical conference are:

1.   To assess recent progress and uncertainties in the full range of water cycle observations: precipitation, soil moisture, clouds, evapotranspiration, water vapour, surface water and groundwater measurements as well as surface heat fluxes and the Earth radiation budget;

2.   To identify the main needs and uncertainties in modeling and data assimilation from global to basin scales to improve our knowledge of water cycle science and our ability to quantify future changes in water cycle variables;

3.   To advocate the challenges and opportunities in water cycle science in order to reduce uncertainties in water related climate change impacts and adaptation strategies in water resources;

4.   To consolidate a scientific roadmap outlining the main priorities for the development of robust global and regional geo-information data products, improved models and effective data assimilation systems.

Contributions are sought for presentations on state-of-the-art research and operational developments in water cycle research, in particular related to climate and global change. Invited keynotes will give overviews of problems, progress and prospects in key areas. Poster presentations (with a short introduction) will be the main form of presentation, plenty of time will be reserved for discussions.



A number of papers will be selected for publication in a dedicated special issue of the Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) a Journal of the European Geosciences Union.

To this end, selected full papers will be invited to submit an extended version following the guidelines of HESS for peer review and potential consideration for the special issue.


Call for Abstracts

December 2008

Abstract Submission

April 2009

Notification of acceptance and preliminary program

June 2009

Paper submission and Symposium

18-20 November 2009


For registration and abstract submission, please, visit the Conference Web Site here.


International Scientific Committee:
Jerome Benveniste (ESA)
Stephen Briggs (ESA)
Jean-Francois Crétaux (LEGOS, CNES, France)
Ad De Roo (EC, JRC)
Petra Döll (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany)
Jared Entin (NASA)
Elias Holm (ECMWF, UK)
Yann Kerr (CESBIO, France)
Toshio Koike (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
Rick Lawford (IGWCO, University of Maryland, USA)
Vincenzo Levizzani (ISAC, CNR, Italy)
Massimo Menenti (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)
Alberto Montanari (University of Bologna, Italy)
Riko Oki (JAXA)
Christa D. Peters-Lidard (NASA)
Catherine Prigent (CNRS, Observatoire de Paris, France)
Tujia Pulkkinen (Finnish Meteorological Institute)
John Bates (NOAA)
Huub Savenije (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)

Organizing committee:
Diego Fernandez (ESA)
Peter van Oevelen (GEWEX internacional Project Office)
Z. Bob Su (ITC, The Netherlands)
Wolfgang Wagner (Vienna University of Technology, Austria)



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