News

  • New NASA Satellite Survey Reveals Dramatic Arctic Sea Ice Thinning Wed Jul 22 2009
    The Arctic ice cap grows each winter as the sun sets for several months and intense cold ensues. In the summer, wind and ocean currents cause some of the ice naturally to flow out of the Arctic, while much of it melts in place. But not all of the Arctic ice melts each summer; the thicker, older ice is more likely to survive. Seasonal sea ice usually reaches about 6 feet in thickness, while multi-...
  • Call For Papers: International Disaster Advances Journal Fri Jul 24 2009
    Call for papers for publication for October 2009 special issue in International Disaster Advances Journal. For more information, visit: http://www.managein.org/manage/disas/main_disas.htm        
  • SSTL to launch UK-DMC2 and Deimos-1 Earth observation missions in July Tue Jul 21 2009
    Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is preparing two satellites for launch on 25th July. The Earth observation missions, UK-DMC2 and Deimos-1, will be launched onboard a Dnepr rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Saturday, 25th July 2009 at 18:46 UTC, 19:46 BST.  The new satellites will enhance DMC satellite daily imaging capacity for applications such as deforestation mapping, urban...
  • GOES-O Satellite Reaches Orbit and Renamed GOES-14 Tue Jul 21 2009
    On June 27, 2009, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-O, soared into space during a spectacular launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. GOES-O has now been renamed and its solar array has been deployed. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) GOES-O satellite is the second in the GOES N Series that will improve weather forecasting...
  • Fires Stretch Across Central Africa Tue Jul 21 2009
    Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite from July 8, 2009, shows thick smoke from hundreds of fires (locations marked in red) burning in central Africa, from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the western part of the scene to Tanzania in the east. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=39253
  • Dust Storm over Iraq Tue Jul 21 2009
      A terrible dust storm raged through Iraq in the first week of July 2009. According to news reports, many Iraqis considered the storm to be the worst in living memory. Hundreds of people reported to the hospital for respiratory distress, and the blowing dust interfered with air and land travel for nearly a week. This natural-color (photo-like) image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging...
  • Intense Rain Floods China and Vietnam – Rainfall Anomaly Shown by Satellite Data Wed Jul 8 2009
    Floods swept across southern China and northern Vietnam in the wake of several days of extreme rain in early July 2009. Although southern China and Vietnam are prone to flooding during the annual summer rainy season, the first week of July 2009 brought unusually heavy rain. The rains caused widespread flooding and landslides that left 75 people dead and 938,000 homeless in China as of July 5,...
  • NASA, Japan Release Most Complete Topographic Map of Earth Mon Jul 6 2009
    On June 29th 2009, NASA and Japan released a new digital topographic map of Earth Monday that covers more of our planet than ever before. The map was produced with detailed measurements from NASA's Terra spacecraft. The new global digital elevation model of Earth was created from nearly 1.3 million individual stereo-pair images collected by the Japanese Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and...
  • Web Resource: Pacific Disaster Net Mon Jul 6 2009
    The Pacific Disaster Net is the ‘Virtual Centre of Excellence’ for Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in the Pacific Region. It is a live collection and growing DRM information resource for government agencies, regional bodies, non-government organizations and international agencies. It also supports National Action Planning, Decision Making and provides in-country information for distribution within...
  • Destination Togo: Fourth UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission to Africa Thu Jul 2 2009
    In March 2009, the Government of Togo officially requested a UN-SPIDER technical advisory mission to assess the existing use of space-based technology and information for disaster management and emergency response in Togo. The mission, which is scheduled for 13 to 16 July 2009, is specifically enquired to identify potential areas where space-based technology and information could play a greater...
  • World's largest Commercial Communications Satellite TerreStar-1 launched Thu Jul 2 2009
    Mobile communications provider TerreStar Networks Inc. (TerreStar), announced on July 1st the successful launch of TerreStar-1, the world's largest, most advanced commercial communications satellite. According to TerreStar President Jeff Epstein, the launch will also help solve critical communications challenges faced by government, emergency responders, enterprises and rural communities. For...
  • UN-SPIDER co-chairs inter-agency briefing on use of Remote Sensing for DRR and Emergency Response in Afghanistan Wed Jul 8 2009
    On June 22nd, an inter-agency briefing with UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER took place in Kabul to determine how best to make use of spatial data/mapping tools to support disaster risk reduction and emergency response activities in Afghanistan.After an introduction of the UN-SPIDER programme, the experts discussed new directions especially on giving access to remote sensing (RS) data relevant for disaster...
  • Launch of the “SPIDER Global Thematic Partnership” Tue Jul 7 2009
    The Second Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction took place in Geneva on 15-19 June 2009. At the session, UN-SPIDER culminated its year-long effort towards the establishment of the “SPIDER Global Thematic Partnership”. This partnership will serve as a forum to facilitate networking among the global community of practitioners involved in space-based information and services to...
  • CALL FOR PAPERS: Special issues of "Disaster Advances" Journal Wed Jun 17 2009
    CALL FOR PAPERS: Special issue on "Cutting-edge geoinformation tools for natural hazard detection, monitoring, modeling, mitigation and Decision Support System: Case studies in various types of natural hazards alike flood, landslide & mass movements, forest fire, hotspot, oil-spill, land subsidence etc." Disaster Advances is the   multidisciplinary journal is covered by following indexing and...
  • Four UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices officially launched in signing ceremony Tue Jul 7 2009
    During the 52nd Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs signed cooperation agreements to establish UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices with the I.R. Iran, Nigeria, Romania, and the Asian Disaster Reduction Center. The establishment of the Regional Support Offices was agreed by the United Nations General Assembly in...
  • UN-SPIDER International Workshop in Vienna Tue Jul 7 2009
    The United Nations International UN-SPIDER Vienna Workshop: "Building Capacities to Reduce Disasters" which took place on 2-4 June 2009 and had the support of the Government of Austria, brought together 78 participants from 34 counties. The objectives of the workshop were to present the most recent advances in space-based technologies for disaster management and emergency response, to review and...
  • UN-SPIDER contributed to the 16th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine Thu Jun 4 2009
    UN-SPIDER senior expert Dr. Joerg Szarzynski attended the 16th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 11-15 May 2009, and presented a paper within the session: ‘Communication and Information’. The abstract of the UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER presentation was published within the journal: Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. About 600 delegates from 60 countries...
  • UN-SPIDER accomplished Technical Advisory Mission to Namibia and co-leads pilot project on flood management together with Namibian officials and NASA / NOAA Thu Jun 4 2009
    UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission to Namibia In January 2009 the Government of Namibia requested a technical advisory mission of UN-SPIDER to assess the existing use of space-based technology and information for disaster management and emergency response in Namibia. Specifically, the mission was requested to identify potential areas where space-based technology and information could play a...
  • ODPEM Promoting Community Level Risk Management Thu Jun 4 2009
    In a bid to further improve its disaster management capabilities, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has embarked on a project focusing on the management of natural hazards in coastal towns and cities. According to Director General of ODPEM, Ronald Jackson, the....
  • South Africa: Treasury Plans Green Taxes Thu Jun 4 2009
    IN LINE with international trends, the government has proposed environmental tax incentives in an attempt to address the negative effects of climate change.
  • Sri Lanka: Avoid witch hunt, HRW tells Colombo Thu Jun 4 2009
    Noting that "Disappearances" of ethnic Tamils in the north and east and in the capital, Colombo, allegedly by members of the security forces or Tamil armed groups remain a serious problem, New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a press release issued today said, "[t]he Sri Lankan government....

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