In The Field

AGU: California droughtin’

The GRACE gravity-hunting satellites have nailed another significant observation: Groundwater levels in California’s agriculturally rich Central Valley have dropped dramatically since 2003. GRACE is a pair of satellites that zoom constantly around Earth, the distance between them varying a tiny bit as underlying gravity – say, a big mountain range – tugs the leading satellite ahead ever so slightly. The mission, a joint effort of NASA and the German Aerospace Center, has made fundamental discoveries about how quickly the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass, and about groundwater depletion in regions such as India. At the AGU meeting 

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