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About the Program

The Global Water Cycle and NEWS

The cycling of energy and water has obvious and significant implications for the health and prosperity of society. The availability and quantity of water is vital to life on earth and helps to tie together the Earth's lands, oceans and atmosphere into an integrated physical system. The global water cycle is driven by a multiplicity of complex processes and interactions at all time and space scales, many of which are inadequately understood and poorly represented in model predictions.

NASA is capable of and uniquely positioned to investigate the global climatic processes that govern precipitation and the replenishment of water resources. In 2003 NASA established the NASA Energy and Water cycle Study (NEWS), whose ultimate goal is a breakthrough improvement in the nation's energy and water cycle prediction capability. NEWS is expected to demonstrate advanced global observation, data assimilation, and improved representation of physical processes in climate models, better prediction systems that can be used to quantify the hydrologic consequences of climate change and produce useful seasonal and longer-range hydrologic predictions based on observed initial values and changing boundary conditions.

NEWS is therefore envisioned to be part of the broader NASA end-to-end Earth science program and thus includes the transition of research findings and new capabilities to academic/public education and to practical applications, through partnerships with the academic community-at-large, federal agencies.

Implementation Plan

Consistent with the ambitious NEWS challenge and ESE objectives, the timetable for the implementation of NEWS extends over a 15 year period. During this period, NEWS participants are expected to collect, analyze and interpret observational data from archived records and on-going observing systems, contribute to the preparation of new space-flight missions, advance predictive models of the global energy and water cycle, and lay the foundation for future developments (including potential new observing techniques). NEWS participants are also expected to examine and test new application practices in partnership with relevant operational agencies and industry.

NEWS Vision

In 2003 NASA established the NASA Energy and Water-cycle Study (NEWS) whose long-term grand challenge is to document and enable improved, observationally based predictions of water and energy cycle consequences of Earth system variability and change. However, recognizing that, the broad objectives of energy and water cycling related climate research extend well beyond the purview of any single agency or program, and call for the support of many activities that are matched to each agency's respective roles and missions. Therefore, to achieve the ultimate goal of credible global change predictions and applications across all significant scales, NASA continues to seek collaborations with other Federal and international agencies, the scientific community-at-large and private industry.


NSIT: A NEWS Science Integration Team was established by the Associate Administrator to serve and enable the integration of science activities with other NEWS investigations and other NASA research foci and activities. The NSIT served as an interface to NASA system components, to coordinate and integrate the results of the NEWS product-and discovery-driven investigations to provide a pathway for the results of NEWS investigations to be implemented and retained as NASA system components. The NSIT developed and provided shared NEWS services, such as information technology, communication, and planning that were designed to enhance cross-project collaboration and integration. The founding NSIT members included: Robert Schiffer (UMBC), Eni Njoku (NASA-JPL), Adam Schlosser (MIT), Bing Lin (NASA-LaRC), Bill Rossow (CREST/CCNY), Bill Lapenta (NCEP/EMC), Paul Houser (GMU), and Jared Entin (NASA-HQ). Paul Houser as NEWS project scientist, and Jared Entin, the NEWS project manager.

Over the past two years, the project has been working on how to refine a NEWS team approach to tackling integration. NEWS is attempting to create a structure that allows for consistency from existing NEWS activities, (i.e., conservation of scientific momentum), and at the same time welcomes new NEWS PIs and their projects.

NEWS Working Groups

To these ends, the project created four NEWS working groups that identify integration needs and make the needed connections to partner and coordinate with water & energy cycle research and application activities going on at other organizations within NASA, nationally, and internationally.

Points of Contact

Dr. Jared K. Entin
NASA HQ, Earth Sciences Division, 300 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20546-0001, Ph: 202-358-0275

Dr. Paul R. Houser
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, Ph: 301-613-3782

Dr. Robert Schiffer
USRA, 10211 Wincopin Circle, Suite 500, Columbia, MD 21044-3432, Ph: 410-730-2656

Ms. Deborah Belvedere
Morgan State University, Ph: 410-991-2996


Founding NEWS Science Integration Team (NSIT)

Jared Entin
Ph: 202-358-0275

Paul Houser
Ph: 301-613-3782

Robert Schiffer
Ph: 410-455-8810

C. Adam Schlosser
Ph: 617-253-3983

William Rossow
Ph: 212-650-5389

William Lapenta
Ph: 301-763-8000

Bing Lin
Ph: 757-864-9823

Eni Njoku
Ph: 818-354-3693