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Amy McNally, Gregory J. Husak, Molly Brown, Mark Carroll, Chris Funk, Soni Yatheendradas, Kristi Arsenault, Christa Peters-Lidard, and James P. Verdin

) adapted to work with data and models commonly used by FEWS NET, like the Africa RFE2 rainfall. The Noah LSM ( Chen et al. 1996 ) is one of several land surface models included in the FLDAS. For this study we used Noah version 3.2. To compute Earth’s energy and water balance, Noah requires meteorological variables (precipitation, solar radiation, air temperature, wind, humidity, and atmospheric pressure), vegetation (land cover) type, soil texture, and slope as inputs. The surface water budget is

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M. Susan Moran, Bradley Doorn, Vanessa Escobar, and Molly E. Brown

1. Introduction The NASA Earth Science Division (ESD) has a primary mission to develop a scientific understanding of Earth’s system and its response to natural or human-induced changes. Implicit to this is the ESD goal to design and launch missions with sound system engineering while balancing cost and complexity. A classic example is the NASA Landsat program, which provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land in existence ( Irons et al. 2012 ). ESD is further dedicated to

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