Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment
The Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) is a research program of the World Climate Research Programme intended to observe, comprehend and model the Earth's water cycle. The experiment also observes how much energy the Earth receives, studies how much of that energy reaches surfaces of the Earth and how that energy is transformed. Sunlight's energy evaporates water to produce clouds and rain, and dries out land masses after rain. Rain that falls on land becomes the water budget which can be used by people for agricultural and other processes.GEWEX is a collaboration of researchers worldwide to find better ways of studying the water cycle and how it transforms energy through the atmosphere. If the Earth's climates were identical from year to year, then people could predict when, where and what crops to plant. However, instability created by solar variation, weather trends, and chaotic events create weather that is unpredictable on seasonal scales. Through weather patterns such as droughts and higher rainfall these cycles impact ecosystems and human activities. GEWEX is designed to collect a much greater amount of data, and see if better models of that data can forecast weather and climate change into the future.GEWEX is organized into several structures. As GEWEX was conceived projects were organized by participating factions, this task is now done by the International GEWEX Project Office (IGPO). IGPO oversees major initiatives and coordinates between national projects in an effort to bring about communication of researchers. IGPO claims to support communication exchange between 2000 scientist and is the instrument for publication of major reports. The Scientific Steering Group organizes the projects and assigns them to panels, which oversee progress and provide critique. The Coordinated Energy and Water Cycle Observations Project (CEOP) the 'Hydrology Project' is a major instrument in GEWEX. This panel includes geographic study areas such as the Climate Prediction Program for the Americas operated by NOAA, but also examines several types of climate zones (e.g. high altitude and semi-arid). Another panel, the GEWEX Radiation Panel oversees the coordinated use of satellites and ground based observation to better estimate energy and water fluxes. One recent result GEWEX's Radiation panel has assessed data on rainfall for the last 25 years and determined that that global rainfall is 2.61 mm/day with a small statistical variation. While the study period is short, after 25 years of measurement regional trends are beginning to appear. The GEWEX Modeling and Prediction Panel takes current models and analyzes the models when climate forcing phenomena occur (global warming as an example of a 'climate forcing' event). GEWEX is now the core project of WCRP.