News

  • Hurricane Florence (2018). Image: NASA Earth Observatory.
    Tropical Cyclones stalling along the North Atlantic coast lead to more rain in the confined location Thu Jul 4 2019
    According to a new study by scientists from NASA and NOAA, tropical cyclones stall more frequently and stay longer near the coastline. This potentially leads to more precipitation over confined locations and thus an aggravation of tropical cyclone hazards for coastal populations. In the new study, scientists Hall and Kossin examined all tropical cyclones from 1944-2017 in the National Hurricane...
  • Modeled catchment mean annual loss. For clarity, only catchments with a mean annual loss of >$1.5 million have been plotted. Image: Quinn, N., Bates, P. D., Neal, J., Smith, A., Wing, O., Sampson, C., et al. ( 2019).
    Recent study presents new assessment method for rare floods risks Thu Jul 4 2019
    A recent study, published in the Water Resource Research journal, presents a new method for a spatially realistic national flood risk assessment. Researchers expanded an existing statistical model, based on U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) river flow data, to simulate a thousand years of potential flood events. By calculating the damage for each event in dollars, they were able to estimate the...
  • Damage from a 7.4 earthquake and a tsunami that hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on 28 September 2018. Image: European Union/Pierre Prakash/Flickr.
    Flooding affected more people in 2018 than any other disaster type report shows Mon Jul 1 2019
    In the past year, “there were 315 natural disaster events recorded with 11,804 deaths, over 68 million people affected, and US$131.7 billion in economic losses around the world.” This is according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) in its recently released 2018 Natural Disasters Report.  While these 2018 natural disaster values represent a decrease when compared...
  • FV3: Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core
    NOAA's upgrade of its Global Forecast System expected to enhance weather forecasts in the USA Thu Jun 27 2019
    In June 2019, NOAA upgraded its flagship weather model, the Global Forecast System (GFS), with a new dynamic core, called Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core (FV3). This upgrade of the GFS will enhance global numerical weather forecasting and better forecast precipitation, heavy rainfall and weather types at both regional and global level. Besides, the FV3-based GFS revealed improvements in...
  • Cover of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) 2018 Annual Report. Image: UNOOSA.
    UNOOSA launches 2018 Annual Report Fri Jun 21 2019
    In its recently released 2018 Annual Report, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) provides an overview of the many projects and initiatives it engaged in during the past year to advance international cooperation in outer space. As one of the highlights, UNOOSA organized and hosted the UNISPACE+50 symposium in Vienna in June 2018 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the...
  • An artistic representation of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission. Image: Canadian Space Agency.
    Canadian RADARSAT Constellation Mission to support disaster relief efforts Fri Jun 21 2019
    On 12 June 2019, a trio of identical Canadian Earth observation satellites, which will help monitor climate change and save lives during natural disasters, among other applications, were successfully launched into space from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.   The satellites, collectively referred to as the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RAM), follow the legacy of over two decades of Canadian RADARSAT...
  • A sandstorm over the Sahara desert seen by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst from the International Space Station in 2014. Image: ESA/NASA.
    Applications open for UN-SPIDER Bonn International Conference “Space-based Solutions for Disaster Management in Africa: Challenges, Applications, Partnerships” Tue Jun 18 2019
    The importance of using space technologies in the disaster management process has received growing global recognition in recent years. For example, the African Union outlined in its 2017 African Space Policy that among other things, space represents a unique opportunity for cooperation in using and sharing infrastructure and data to proactively respond to and manage natural hazards and disasters...
  • Representatives of UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices and observer organizations..
    9th annual meeting of UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices opens in Vienna Tue Jun 18 2019
    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...
  • H.E. Gerhard Küntzle, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations (Vienna); UNOOSA Director Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo; and Prof. Klaus Greve from the Centre for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) at the University of Bonn.
    UNOOSA signs cooperation agreement with the University of Bonn to help Member States leverage space-based information in all phases of disaster management Tue Jun 18 2019
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) signed a cooperation agreement with the University of Bonn, Germany, that paves the way for joint activities to support Member States in using space-based information in all phases of disaster management over the next five years. Natural and man-made disasters lead to loss of lives and property, displace people from their homes and...
  • Natural-colour Sentinel-2A image of Mexico City and surroundings. Image: Copernicus Sentinel data (2015)/ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.
    UN-SPIDER highlights role of Earth observation in understanding exposure of urban infrastructure to hazards at Resilient Infrastructure Forum Thu Jun 6 2019
    Under the annual theme "Towards A Safer Urban Future", the 2nd Resilient Infrastructure Forum took place in Colombia from 4 to 6 June 2019. The Forum aimed to develop a coordinated long-term strategy to overcome challenges posed by disasters, such as severe storms, tsunamis or earthquakes in Latin America and the Caribbean. At the event, UN-SPIDER underlined the benefits of space-based...
  • Flooding in the Pak Kret area of Bangkok, Thailand in 2011. Image: Philip Roeland/Flickr.
    Review article discusses using remote sensing-based proxies to improve urban disaster risk management and resilience Fri May 31 2019
    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...
  • SuperMUC-NG, the supercomputer at Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ). Image: Veronika Hohenegger/LRZ.
    German Aerospace Centre and Leipniz Supercomputing Centre team up to improve Earth observation data analysis Fri May 31 2019
    Data generated by Earth observation satellites can provide critical insights for disaster mitigation and management by revealing changes in the Earth’s surface over time. However, the great volume and different types of satellite data collected can pose challenges for evaluation. A new partnership between one of Europe’s largest supercomputing centres, the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ), and...
  • Ground deformation map of Pistoia in Tuscany. Using data acquired between 2014 and 2019 from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, the map shows subsidence in red and uplift in blue. Image: ESA/TRE ALTAMIRA.
    Italy uses Sentinel-1 satellite data to monitor sinking ground surfaces Thu May 30 2019
    The lowering or sinking of the ground’s surface, referred to as land subsidence, can cause serious damage to infrastructure and private property, and in turn, have an adverse impact on communities, individuals, and the economy. The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Sentinel-1 satellite, part of the Copernicus programme, is being used to monitor cases of land subsidence and contribute to risk...
  • Image showing the movement of the Lambert Glacier, with ice velocity vectors obtained by using RADARSAT Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the 2000 Antarctic Mapping Mission. Image: Canadian Space Agency/NASA/Ohio State University, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Alaska SAR facility. Retrieved from NASA Earth Observatory.
    Images from Canada’s first Earth observation satellite made available to the public Fri May 24 2019
    The Canadian Space Agency and the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation have released 36,500 RADARSAT-1 images, which are available at no cost on the Government of Canada’s Earth Observation Data Management System. Having aided relief operations in 244 disaster events through the images it captured, the Canadian RADARSAT-1 satellite now has the opportunity to reach a broad pool of...
  • Participants of the Second Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference (MHEWC-II). Image: WMO.
    Second Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference calls for strengthening early warning efforts to meet challenges posed by a changing climate Thu May 23 2019
    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...
  • Tropical Cyclone Fani reaches the eastern coast of India on 2 May 2019.
    Indian Space Research Organization launches satellite to support disaster management efforts Wed May 22 2019
    Building upon a history of successful Earth observation satellite launches, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) sent its RISAT-2B radar imaging satellite into orbit on 22 May 2019. Launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India, the satellite has the capacity to benefit the disaster management, agriculture, and forestry sectors by capturing detailed images of the...
  • Living Planet Symposium 2019 in Milan, Italy. Image: ESA
    Earth observation practitioners gather in Milan to discuss latest Copernicus applications Tue May 21 2019
    A one-week-long event brought together scientists and users to present their latest findings on the Earth’s environment and climate derived from satellite data. Organized by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Living Planet Symposium also introduced ESA missions – such as the Sentinels, Earth Explorers and meteorological missions – as well as national missions in development. The event took...
  • Mississippi River floods in April and May 2011.
    New publication highlights innovation disaster risk reduction products and approaches Thu May 16 2019
    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...
  • Areas flooded and damaged following cyclone Idai, northwest of Beira.
    Disasters threaten progress on sustainable development GAR19 warns Thu May 16 2019
    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 (...
  • Tropical Cyclone Fani in the Indian Ocean captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on 1 May 2019. Image: NASA.
    Registrations open for United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction – A Policy Perspective Mon May 13 2019
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has opened registrations for the 9th Annual UN-SPIDER Conference in Beijing “United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction – ‘A Policy Perspective’”. The registration deadline is 15 July 2019. The conference, which will take place 11-12 September 2019, will also celebrate 10 years of the...
  •  “Space for U.S.”, disaster search
    NASA web page shows Earth observation data impact on people lives Wed May 8 2019
    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently released a new website, SpaceforUS, which intends to highlight how NASA has used its Earth observation data to better the living conditions of people in all 50 states of the United States of America. SpaceforUS includes contains a total of 56 stories that illustrate NASA’s science and the impact it has had across the country....

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