We propose the use of NASA remote sensing and modeling products combined with surface observations at various scales to improve decisions support systems in agriculture, drought and water resources management for South America (SA). This proposal builds upon a partnership between NASA and various U.S. and international agencies and universities to contribute to the dissemination of NASA Earth Sciences research results within that continent.

We will act to provide valuable information based on NASA Earth Sciences products to South American national agencies and other end-users, in particular for decision making that will lead to improvement of crop efficiency and water availability for consumption in South America. To this end, we are a partnership of institutions, both in South America [the Center for Weather Forecast and Climate Studies division of the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (CPTEC/INPE: Brazilian acronym), the Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology (INMET), the Brazilian Agency of Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA), Campinas State University (Unicamp) and University of Santa Maria (UFSM) among other local agencies ], and in the US [ the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Princeton University, and the University of Maryland (UMD) ].

This proposal is in compliance and responds to the Paul Simon Water Act for the Poor legislation that requires special attention to be given to semi-arid regions such as Northeast Brazil, western Argentina and Atacama. Moreover, the improvement of crop yield per planted area will contribute to the decrease in the rate of expansion of cultivated areas in Brazil and Argentina in response to the rise of global food prices, demands for biofuels and food security.

We will work towards the integration of remotely sensed products from NASA missions (e.g. MODIS, TRMM, AMSR-E, AIRS, CERES and GRACE), especially the multi-sensor (AIRS, CERES and MODIS) based continental Evapotranspiration product, into operational atmospheric models coupled with a Land Data Assimilation framework. This framework will be used to improve decision making for agriculture (crop efficiency), disaster mitigation (drought) and water availability at the basin scale. CPTEC/INPE has an established network for data dissemination to local users in Brazil and South America.

This project is relevant to the Water for agriculture and Water management areas and sub-areas of the Applied Sciences, with a focus on extending Earth science research results to decision-making, particularly to agriculture. This will be done by improving agricultural forecasts through the use of observations in conjunction with regional climate models.

Luiz Gustavo Goncalves.
(Principal Investigator)