Game Changers Online Seminars

Essential Climate Variable (ECV) Products from Satellite Gravimetry: Terrestrial Water Storage and Groundwater

Webinar with Adrian Jäggi (Astronomical Institute, University of Bern, Switzerland)

Thursday, 28th September 2023, 17h CEST, 11h EDT 

Please click on this Link for the Zoom Session >>

Meeting ID: 852 6990 9362        Password: 459004

Satellite gravimetry missions such as the on-going GRACE Follow-On (FO) mission, the planned GRACE-FO continuation mission as well as a Next Generation Gravity Mission (NGGM) that will form together with the GRACE-FO continuation mission the Mass-change and Geosciences International Constellation (MAGIC), are unique observing systems to measure the tiny variations of the Earth’s gravity field. Time-variable gravity derived by satellite gravimetry provides integrative measures of Terrestrial Water Storage (TWS) variations on a regional to global scale. Given the large interest of the scientific community to understand the processes of changes in TWS, comprising all the water storage on the Earth’s continental areas in frozen and liquid state, including ice caps, glaciers, snow cover, soil moisture, groundwater and the storage in surface water bodies and the interaction with ocean mass and sea level, TWS was adopted as a new Essential Climate Variable (ECV) in the implementation plan 2022 of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

In this talk an overview of the underlying principles of the challenging satellite gravimetry data analysis will be given and selected key scientific results and products will be highlighted. A special focus will be on European and international initiatives such as the Combination Service of Time-variable Gravity Fields (COST-G) of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) and the H2020 project Global Gravity-based Groundwater Product (G3P) to exploit this unique observable in order to eventually derive the ECV Groundwater.

Groundwater is a most fundamental resource, but there is no service available yet to deliver data nor is there any other data source worldwide that operationally provides information on changing groundwater resources in a consistent, observation-based way with global coverage. By capitalizing from TWS derived from satellite gravimetry and from other satellite-based water storage compartments the H2020 project G3P established a prototype to provide groundwater storage change for large areas with global coverage that is planned to be included as a cross-cutting extension of the existing service portfolio of the European Union’s Earth Observation programme Copernicus.

Adrian Jäggi is the Director of the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern (AIUB) in Switzerland. He is a Fellow of the International Association for Geodesy (IAG) and was president of IAG’s Commission 2 (Gravity Field) between 2019 and 2023. He initiated several international scientific projects in the field of space geodesy, among them projects funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Program for Research and Innovation and the European Research Council, and is the founding Chair of IAG’s Combination Service of Time-variable Gravity fields (COST-G).


Upcoming Confirmed Webinars

26th October 2023 – “Telescopes on the Moon: The Next Decades” with Joe Silk (IAP, Paris, France)

30th November 2023 – “Genetically Modified Galaxies” with Andrew Pontzen (UCL, UK)


Starting in the summer of 2020, the International Space Science Institute has organized the weekly on-line seminar series called “Game Changers”. After six series of weekly talks on the themes of “Missions that Changed the Game in Solar System, Astrophysics and Earth Sciences” , “Ideas and Findings about the Solar System, the Universe and our Terrestrial Environment”,“Habitability – From Cosmic to Microbial Scales”, “Viewing Earth from Space – the Changing Environment and Climate of our Planet”,  and “Captivating Cosmology: From the Big Bang to Tomorrow”  and  the topic Space Environmental Hazards: Mitigation and Prediction”, the webinar series continues on a monthly basis.

All webinars are recorded an can be watched here: Recorded Game Changers Seminars >>

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