The gravity variations studied by GRACE can be used to determine ground water storage on land masses. By comparing current data to an average over time, scientists can generate an anomaly map to see where ground water storage has been depleted or increased. Rust colored areas show areas where ground water has decreased, and areas in blue are where ground water levels have increased. Note the significant decreases in ground water storage across most of California and all the way up the North American coast into Alaska.
NASA's GRACE-FO team plans to switch to a backup system in the Microwave Instrument on one of the twin spacecraft this month.
The laser ranging interferometer (LRI) instrument has been successfully switched on aboard the recently launched twin U.S./German Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites.
Antarctic ice losses have tripled since 2012, raising global sea levels by 0.12 inch (3 millimeters) in that timeframe alone, finds a new NASA/ESA-funded climate assessment.
GRACE-FO has completed its first mission phase and demonstrated the performance of the precise ranging system that enables its measurements of how mass migrates around Earth.
All flight and ground systems have performed well throughout the Launch and Early Operations Period. The accelerometer and microwave science instruments have been powered on successfully and the two satellites are in relative pointing mode.