Potential Impact

Given the current state of gauge-based precipitation data availability and quality (which varies across the globe), as well as the questionable level of confidence on satellite-based precipitation products (SPPs), due to errors and mismatches with land-based observations (as highlighted by numerous comparative studies), extrAIM comes as a potential remedy.

extrAIM aims to create and communicate an alternative and trustworthy source of data, generated though the improvement of existing SPPs (by AI-enhanced datasets integration) and the explicit modelling and quantification of uncertainty (also with respect to extremes).

Given the above, the scientific, real-world, and social impact of the project could be significant, and also in line with ESA’s ambition towards a digital twin for earth, and also takes it a step further by providing the option to explicitly embed the input drivers uncertainty (e.g., SPPs) into the developed digital twins. The extrAIM approach could also motivate a paradigm in SPPs that moves beyond providing SPPs with typical single-valued QPEs, to SPPs containing multi-valued, appropriately adjusted QPEs, that embed the estimate’s uncertainty, thus reconciling estimates with reality.

By explicitly quantifying errors and embedding them in SPPs extrAIM will enhance the end-user’s confidence and trust on satellite-based remote sensing techniques, improve understanding and awareness on hydroclimatic extremes, as well as increase the use of satellite data in more and more hydroclimatic-driven applications (e.g., hydrological and water resources).

Further developments, both in terms of tools and models, can emerge from the outputs of this project to support countries by building upon the extrAIM UA Mediterranean dataset or by exploiting the information provided by project’s data analysis and visualization platform. Wider exploitation of the outputs includes the following points:

  • Extend the extrAIM approach for dataset creation at global scale.
  • Extend the extrAIM approach for dataset creation for other hydroclimatic variables (e.g., runoff).
  • Improve and adapt the extrAIM approach for the creation of UA satellite-based datasets with finer temporal and spatial resolution, either by downscaling approaches, or through the use of different data products (e.g., ESA’s Next Generation Gravity Mission) provided by space agencies.
  • Provide scientists, engineers, and decision makers a new, low-latency, trustworthy, and UA source of satellite-based precipitation data for the Mediterranean region, enabling easy uncertainty propagation in climate-driven analysis and studies (e.g., for the development of earth’s digital twins).
Users and stakeholders potentially interested include climate researchers, engineers, data journalists, space agencies, government agencies, basin authorities, civil protection authorities, and more in general all the organizations interested in climate and the sustainable management of water for people and societies. Some examples are listed below: