Due to the increasing unpredictable weather patterns caused by global warming, the European Space Agency launched the Soil Moisture and Salinity Probe (SMOS) from a Russian rocket launcher in November of 2009. The probe can accurately measure plant growth, ocean salinity, and soil moisture across the world. It can also study the frozen regions of the earth in better detail than satellites do now. It takes readings of the microwave radiation emitted from the surface of the earth. Importantly it will further understanding of how the earths climate systems work. The ESA is hoping to better predict droughts and floods using the information gathered with SMOS.
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