Global

Noticias

Screenshot of the SMAP tool in action. Image: NASA

Officially launched in 2015 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the SMAP mission is an orbiting satellite that measures the amount of wetness in the top layer of soil incrementally every 2-3 days. These Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) measurements rely on radiation frequencies that point to different levels of moisture on the surface of  earth’s soil and are useful for scientists because it allows them to construct maps indicating the level of soil moisture globally. Acknowledging the relevance and usability of this data for the field of disaster management, NASA recently integrated the SMAP data into its Disasters Mapping Portal

The Disasters Mapping Portal has been developed by the Geographic Informations Systems (GIS) Team at NASA in an effort to make their satellite data... read more

Publishing Date: 25/11/2020
Anak Krakatau captured by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 on 13 April 2020. Image: NASA.

Most of the volcanic activities are rapidly evolving phenomena, and thus, hard for volcanologists and disaster management agencies to monitor and predict. In the last four decades, however, due to the proliferation of new and innovative instruments and techniques, scientists have made progress in forecasting the timing of many volcanic eruptions. New studies have shown that combining ground-based information, satellite data, and AI technologies facilitates consistent and long-term monitoring of volcanoes, allowing researchers to have a comprehensive overview of volcanic systems. Understanding volcanic behavior can help to track unrest-warning signs, to forecast volcano eruptions and possible related landslides and tsunamis, and consequently to activate emergency plans in a timely manner.

Volcanologists are now using new tools and techniques, such as space-borne and AI technologies, to track volcanic activities. Satellites can offer better prospects for... read more

Publishing Date: 02/06/2020
United Nations High-Level Event on "Youth 2030". Image: UN Photo/Mark Garten.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) have launched the second edition of their Space4Youth competition. Under the title Space4Climate, this year's focus is on SDG 13, Climate Action. In order to participate, students and young professionals from any Member State of the United Nations are invited to submit an essay on the topic "Space as a tool to address climate challenges: examples from local communities" by 21 June 2020.

Climate change is the defining issue of our time. From shifting weather patterns to rising sea levels, the impact of climate change is global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Action is needed and young people play a key role. With this competition, UNOOSA and SGAC want to give a voice to and promote youth's ideas on how space, in all its aspects... read more

Publishing Date: 26/05/2020
Global monthly primary productivity. Image: ESA

A recent study has produced a 20-year time series of primary production by marine phytoplankton, one of the largest fluxes of carbon on our planet. Studying phytoplankton primary production is important because it provides useful information about ocean biology, climate, and global carbon cycle. Observing primary production over long-time scales or quantifying its small variations can help the scientific community to determine carbon dioxide concentrations, as well as the effect of climate variability on these processes. The study uses in -situ measurements and satellite data from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Climate Change Initiative,

The study assesses global annual phytoplankton primary productivity between 1998 and 2018 and aims at identifying its long-term patterns and its variability with seasons and locations. It uses a global database of in situ measurements of photosynthesis versus irradiance (P-I) parameters and a 20-year record of climate... read more

Publishing Date: 11/05/2020
Image: USGS.

On 14 May, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) hosted two sessions of a webinar on space applications to support global health, including to fight coronavirus. 

During the 90-minute sessions, experts from UNOOSA, as well as from other international organisations, governments and private sector companies operating in the space sector discussed how space applications can strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of epidemics and other health risks. Particular attention was paid to the current coronavirus pandemic.

To find out more about space applications to fight the coronavirus, please visit the COVID-19 overview page here on the Knowledge Portal.

Presentations from the webinar are available on the... read more

Publishing Date: 08/05/2020
Earth Observation Toolkit for Sustainable Cities and Communities logo. Image: GEO

The Group of Earth Observations (GEO) and the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) have opened a call for expression of interest for the “Earth Observation Toolkit for Sustainable Cities and Communities” programme. This programme aims to support UN Member States in sustainable urban development by creating a customizable and continually updated toolkit that will integrate Earth observation and geospatial data with national statistics, socioeconomic information and other data. Through this project, GEO and UN-Habitat are looking to define needs and data, and provide practical guidance to support urban monitoring, reporting and development at the city, national, regional, and global levels.

The programme will complement the efforts of countries to monitor, report and drive progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, which aims at “making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, and... read more

Publishing Date: 22/04/2020
The TIROS-1 satellite. Image: NASA

On 1 April 1960, NASA sent the Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS-1) into space. TIROS-1 was developed during the 1950s and, after years of experimental programmes and attempts, became the world’s first weather satellite. Since weather satellites were a new technology at that time, the mission also tested various design issues for spacecraft, such as instruments, data, and operational parameters, in order to improve satellite applications for Earth-bound decisions. TIROS-1 thus paved the way for further weather satellite development and research. Today, weather satellites provide highly accurate and near-real-time measurements that can efficiently monitor and forecast extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts, as well as enhance the understanding of the climate and of the Earth as a whole.

TIROS-1 provided information about cloud formations around the globe. It orbited 450 miles above Earth and communicated with two command and... read more

Publishing Date: 16/04/2020
Custom Script Contest - COVID-19 edition logo. Image: Sentinel Hub

The European Space Agency (ESA), in coordination with the European Commission, is launching a special edition of the Custom Script Contest, focused on the support of space assets during the COVID-19 crisis, managed by Euro Data Cube group. The contest is looking for remote sensing experts, machine learning scientists and interested public to make proposals on how satellite data can help with observation of changes in economic operators, changes in human activity distribution and changes in agriculture activity, among other applications. The aim of the contest is to help mitigate the COVID-19 situation in the upcoming months.

Participants can produce scripts using data from various sources, such as the European Sentinel satellites, Airbus and Planet data, as well as data from Pleiades and PlanetScope. Different tools can be used, including EO Browser, Sentinel Hub and xcube services, eo-learn, and Jupyter Notebooks.

Participants can... read more

Publishing Date: 03/04/2020
GEO-KOMPSAT-2. Image: KARI

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Republic of Korea are working together on a global satellite constellation of three space-based instruments that could track global pollution on an hourly basis. These air quality satellites will measure pollutants, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols in order to enhance our understanding of air quality and air pollution. To date, air quality satellites have collected data only once a day. These three new instruments will provide hourly, highly detailed and near-real-time data that will improve air quality science and forecasting around the world, in particular around the most densely populated areas of the Northern Hemisphere. 

Collecting data hourly will allow to capture pollution that appears episodically, like rush-hour traffic or a power plant that switches on to meet peak power demands, as well... read more

Publishing Date: 30/03/2020
Winds imaged by Aeolus. Image: ESA

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), after months of careful testing, has started to operationally assimilate data from the European Space Agency's Aeolus satellite in its daily weather forecasts. Aeolus measurements have been considered ready for operational use as early as 14 months after the satellite launch, which is unusual for data collected from a new type of satellite. Aelous provides accurate and near-real time measurements that can improve weather forecasting and contribute to better preparedness for possible hazards.

The Aeolus satellite is the first of its kind as it is able to calculate atmospheric winds in cloud-free areas or winds throughout vertical wind columns. To date, satellites could estimate winds only from the movements of clouds, leaving gaps in observations where there are no clouds. Aeolus can improve weather forecasts, especially in the tropics, in the southern... read more

Publishing Date: 23/03/2020
Aftermath of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique in March 2019. Image: Denis Onyodi/IFRC/DRK/Climate Centre.

A new report lists extreme weather events and major natural disasters among the top five risks in terms of likelihood over the next decade. The Global Risks Report 2020, published by the World Economic Forum, is based on a survey of 750 global experts and decision-makers who ranked their concerns in terms of likelihood and impact. Climate action failure, biodiversity loss and human-made environmental disasters are also among the most prevalent risks, making it the first time that the report's top five risks in terms of likelihood are all environmental.

Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation, and extreme weather events, such as floods and storms, are also among the top five risks by severity of impact. These are the most strongly connected global risks, according to respondents.

The report underlines that growing climate emergency is "striking harder and more rapidly... read more

Publishing Date: 16/01/2020

Sentinel Hub’s Earth Observation (EO) browser is hosting its second round of contests for custom scripts to better visualize and analyze the Earth’s surface. EO Browser, developed by Sinergise in close cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA), brings together petabytes of data from many satellite platforms - from ESA’s Copernicus programme to NASA’s Landsat missions.

The competition is open from 15 October 2019 to 15 January 2020, and calls for submissions of JavaScript scripts, which can be input into EO Browser's “create custom rendering” visualization tool. This script must be designed to work with one of the eight satellite platforms available on EO browser.

The last Sentinel Hub Custom Script Contest was won by a script for best visualizing deep moist convection, an atmospheric condition associated with tornadoes, hurricanes, and cyclones. This disaster management... read more

Publishing Date: 19/11/2019

Major disasters such as droughts and wildfires are driven by the dryness of vegetation. To enhance the monitoring of plant water stress, NASA launched and installed a new sensor on the International Space Station. ECOSTRESS (ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station) allows identifying loss of water in leaves- even before they show visible signs of trouble.

The image to the left shows a product derived from ECOSTRESS data, indicating that the forest fires during the 2019 Amazon dry season were concentrated in water-stressed areas, which are not visible on optical imagery. “To the naked eye, the fires appear randomly distributed throughout the forest,” said Josh Fisher, ECOSTRESS science lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Plants regulate their... read more

Publishing Date: 14/11/2019
Les Cayes, southern Haiti, 5 October 2016 after Hurricane Matthew has struck the area. Image: Jethro J. Sérémé / American Red Cross / IFRC.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) - the world's largest humanitarian organization - released a report estimating the growth of humanitarian need if current human activities continue. Published this month, "The Cost of Doing Nothing" paints a bleak picture of global need for humanitarian assistance doubling to 200 million. The price tag, the report projects, could come to $20 billion annually. 

The report is a collaboration between IFRC and leading environmental scientists and economists and takes into account global growth rates, inequality, demographics and climate. The IFRC cautions that inaction now will result in the need for a massive increase in humanitarian aid to combat climate-related disasters and their socioeconomic impact. Key findings of the report show that current human activities will lead to escalating suffering and ballooning costs. The report also warns that its dire findings are likely... read more

Publishing Date: 24/09/2019
FSSCat. Image: UPC.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced the launch of a new satellite that will use artificial intelligence to filter images unsuitable for future use. The Phi Satellite (ɸ-Sat-1), presented at the ESA Phi-week from 9 to 12 September, will make data delivery more efficient by not sending back to Earth acquisitions with high cloud cover. Currently, the process of filtering images for cloud cover is done after the images are received on the ground, meaning that a number of images sent to Earth are not useful.

In 2017, the federated satellite system 6U tandem mission for sea ice and soil moisture monitoring (FSSCat) idea, which was proposed by the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya from Barcelona, Spain, won the Copernicus Masters. This annual international competition awards prizes to innovative solutions, developments and ideas for business and society based on Earth observation... read more

Publishing Date: 23/09/2019
The above map shows the distribution of women of reproductive age (ages 18-49) spread across Tanzania, drawn from a combination of census data and satellite imagery. Image: Facebook.

Facebook has published new population density maps covering most of the African continent and countries of the Asia-Pacific region in June 2019. Using artificial intelligence (AI), these maps help organizations to respond to natural disasters, and scientists to assess the impact of climate change and urbanization on people’s lives. As soon as almost the entire world population is covered by the project, population distribution in remote areas will be better determinable by humanitarian agencies. In that way, health workers will be able to better reach households and relief workers to better distribute aid. 

For its population density maps, Facebook used a combination of machine learning techniques, high resolution satellite imagery and population data; no Facebook data was used nor did the census and satellite data used contain any personal data. The satellite maps used were created using DigitalGlobe's commercially available satellite from the same type... read more

Publishing Date: 16/07/2019
Representatives of UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices and observer organizations..

Representatives from the network of UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices (RSO) convene in Vienna for the 9th Annual RSO Coordination Meeting from 18 to 19 June. Held at the United Nations Offices in Vienna, the meeting provides the 23 RSOs the opportunity to propose concrete ways in which they, respectively, could further collaborate with UN-SPIDER and also with other RSOs. The event is a forum for discussion of innovative approaches to disaster management using space-based technologies.

At the meeting, RSO representatives discussed lessons learned from their respective regional capacity-building and knowledge and awareness-raising activities, and their experiences working with the  International Charter “Space and Major Disasters”. Additional discussions included the development and use... read more

Publishing Date: 18/06/2019
Flooding in the Pak Kret area of Bangkok, Thailand in 2011. Image: Philip Roeland/Flickr.

Remote sensing, or obtaining information about the Earth’s surface from afar using satellites or high altitude aircraft, is an important tool for predicting, mitigating, and managing disasters. To obtain a more comprehensive view of the conditions on Earth, remote sensing analysts must often look beyond information that can be immediately extracted from satellite imagery, for example, and use proxies, or indirect measurements based on this information, in order to evaluate other factors.

A recent study, Remote Sensing-Based Proxies for Urban Disaster Risk Management and Resilience: A Review, identifies and evaluates some of these remote sensing proxies used to evaluate both pre- and post- disaster elements, taking into consideration the “built-up” environment, including buildings and transport networks,... read more

Publishing Date: 31/05/2019
Participants of the Second Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference (MHEWC-II). Image: WMO.

Held on 13 and 14 May in Geneva, the Second Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference (MHEWC-II) called for further strengthening of multi-hazard early warning systems (MHEWS) as part of disaster risk reduction efforts worldwide. At the event, more than 320 participants from all regions of the world and affiliated to international, regional, national and local public sector, civil society, private sector and academic institutions highlighted the need for better governance, partnerships, communication and science and technology for multi-hazard early warning efforts to translate into early action that saves lives. Establishing effective early warning systems that address intertwined hazards is becoming more urgent by the day against the backdrop of a changing climate and extreme weather events that particularly affect developing countries.

MHEWC-II, which was hosted by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) at its headquarters in Geneva... read more

Publishing Date: 23/05/2019
Mississippi River floods in April and May 2011.

A new publication presents 30 innovation products and approaches for disaster risk reduction, ranging from GIS and remote sensing to community-based disaster risk reduction and indigenous DRR technology. “30 Innovations for DRR” has been published by a group of experts from Keio University, the University of Tokyo, the United Nations University, CWS Japan and IRIDeS of Tohoku University. The collection is the result of a meeting organized by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Multi-Hazards Program at which participants agreed to work to scientific research results relevant to practitioners more accessible and curate products and approaches based on science and technology considered to be effective and innovative.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction encourages better access and support for innovation and technology as well as increased investment in DRR to... read more

Publishing Date: 16/05/2019
Areas flooded and damaged following cyclone Idai, northwest of Beira.

A new United Nations report calls for urgent action on disaster risk reduction to protect progress towards eradication of poverty and hunger, and action on climate change. The achievement of these and other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be slowed down or even reversed if governments do not adopt appropriate strategies, the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2019 (GAR19) warns.

“The human race has never before faced such large and complex threats. The doubling of extreme weather events over the last twenty years is further evidence that we need a new approach to managing disaster risk if we are to limit disaster losses. Economic losses are making it an uphill battle to hold on to development gains in low and middle income countries,” said Ms Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR... read more

Publishing Date: 16/05/2019
The map depicts global temperature anomalies in 2018.

New satellite data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) confirms that 2015 to 2018 were the four hottest years on record. The findings echo the results of recent reports by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite collected the data, which NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) analyzed. Both WMO and NASA’s GISTEMP results originate from a combination of in situ and satellite-derived data, enabling the estimation of temperatures for data-sparse areas such as the poles.

NASA’s AIRS uses 2400 wavelengths of light to create 3D maps of clouds, temperature and humidity throughout the atmosphere. The GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) is an estimate of global surface temperature change.

The new GISTEMP data closely mirror findings from 2003 to 2017. The AIRS... read more

Publishing Date: 06/05/2019
Panel at the First Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference (MHEWC-I): Saving Lives, Reducing Losses in May 2017 in Cancun, Mexico. Image: UN DRR / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The International Network for Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (IN-MHEWS) is convening the Second Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference (MHEWC-II) on 13 and 14 May 2019 as a pre-event to the sixth session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) in Geneva. The conference aims to highlight the role of national governance in the implementation and sustainability of multi-hazard early warning systems that take into account fundamental information on all risk dimensions (hazard, exposure, vulnerability and coping/adaptive capacity), regulatory frameworks and policies, and institutional partnerships, and ensure that warnings are received, well understood and actionable.

The conference, which will take place at the Headquarters of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), is the second of its kind after the First Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference (MHEWC-I) in 2017 in Cancun, Mexico... read more

Publishing Date: 30/04/2019
Cover of SAR Handbook: Comprehensive Methodologies for Forest Monitoring and Biomass Estimation. Image: SERVIR GLOBAL.

SERVIR, a joint development initiative of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and SilvaCarbon, a U.S. government programme working to enhance capacity around the world in monitoring and managing forests, have announced the release of the “Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Handbook: Comprehensive Methodologies for Forest Monitoring and Biomass Estimation.” The publication brings together methods and theoretical background to facilitate the use of  SAR data for forest monitoring and biomass estimation.

The SAR Handbook is available for free as an e-Book on the SERVIR Global website. Each chapter of the Handbook is divided into a theory section, written by a SAR expert, which discusses the scientific background of the chapter topic; a step-by-step tutorial section, which provides instructions on how... read more

Publishing Date: 15/04/2019
Visualization of the GPM Core Observatory satellite orbiting the planet earth.

Five years ago, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory as a joint satellite. Since then, the instruments on GPM have provided advanced measurements about rain and snow particles within clouds, Earth’s precipitation patterns, extreme weather and precipitation that affects communities around the world.

GPM was engineered to get data to scientists, operational and application users as soon as possible for societal benefits. It obtains data quickly using the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) 12-member satellite constellation, which serves as an information pipeline between Earth-orbiting satellites and NASA ground stations. On average, GPM can take one to three hours to get data into users’ hands, but in emergencies, the average delivery time can be shortened to between 15 and 90 minutes.

GPM’s main... read more

Publishing Date: 02/04/2019

Pages

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.