MikeChino writes: Today the European Space Agency launched a $460 million satellite that will aim to accurately pinpoint the future location and intensity of floods and droughts. Launched on a Russian rocket launcher from the Plesestk cosmodrome, the SMOS probe will measure soil moisture, plant growth, and ocean salt levels across the globe. The measurements gathered by the SMOS probe can be used to track ocean circulation patterns and soil moisture — data that can be used to quickly predict drought and flood risk in certain areas, as well as the intricacies of the planet’s climate cycle.
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