UN-SPIDER Updates December 2020

Issue Date: 

Mon, 04/01/2021

Dear readers,

We're glad to share with you the December 2020 UN-SPIDER Monthly Updates.

Enjoy the read!


Free tagging: 

2020 ties for warmest year on record, new report shows

Temperature Anomalies in 2020. Image: NASA

At 1.02 degrees Celsius higher than the 1951–1980 mean, Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2020 was – tied with that in 2016 – the warmest on record. This finding of a recent report by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) underlines the planet’s long-term warming trend as one of the most significant effects of climate change. “The last seven years have been the warmest seven years on record, typifying the ongoing and dramatic warming trend,” said NASA GISS Director Gavin Schmidt.

Publishing Date: 

Wed, 03/02/2021 - 09:18

Disasters programme at NASA partakes in Anticipation Hub

The Anticipation Hub logo. Image: Anticipation Hub.

The Disasters programme unit at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently joined a newly launched online platform aimed at placing anticipatory action on the humanitarian agenda.


Publishing Date: 

Tue, 02/02/2021 - 10:15

UNOOSA and NASA sign landmark Memorandum of Understanding to advance peaceful uses of outer space

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States Government (NASA) signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 17 December 2020 pledging cooperation in areas of science and technology to support the peaceful uses of outer space.


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 11/01/2021 - 10:55

NASA integrates soil moisture data into Disasters Mapping Portal

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.


Publishing Date: 

Wed, 25/11/2020 - 12:40

World’s first weather satellite launched 60 years ago

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.


Publishing Date: 

Thu, 16/04/2020 - 17:33

Large integrated satellite study reveals Greenland Ice Sheet melting faster

The terminus of Bear Glacier occurs in iceberg filled freshwater lagoon. Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Image: NASA.

Scientists from 50 scientific institutions, led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) combined 26 independent satellite datasets to show that the Greenland Ice Sheet melt is increasing. The group studied data from 1992 to 2018, taking direct measurements of the continent-sized glacier. The study found that decade averages for ice melt has increased sevenfold from the 1990s. 


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 03/02/2020 - 12:38

NASA releases interactive 3D visualization of Australian smoke plumes

3D visualization of the Australian smoke plumes. Image: NASA.

When analysing wildfires and their impacts, remote sensing instruments provide frequent, broad coverage at minimal incremental cost and at no risk, compared with traditional in situ monitoring. Over the past 20 years, the research community has developed tools and techniques to capture key aspects of fire behavior and impacts, with data from spaceborne instruments such as the Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR).


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 03/02/2020 - 12:07

Satellite data saves precious minutes and millions of dollars during disasters, NASA study finds

A first of its kind study by researchers at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, calculated the Value of Information (VOI) for the near real-time satellite data available during a disaster. The team used MODIS data and QGIS to create water extent maps for a 2011 flood in Thailand. The results allowed researchers to analyze paths from ambulance houses and fire stations to areas of distress. The research found that routes from dispatch sites to their destinations often intersected areas of flooding deep enough to disable the average passenger car.

Publishing Date: 

Tue, 17/12/2019 - 09:04

Advanced Webinar: SAR for Disasters and Hydrological Applications

This is event is available for participation on an ongoing basis
Image: NASA.

Learning Objectives: 

By the end of this training, attendees will be able to:





Is a certificate Issued?: 



03/12/2019 to 05/12/2019

Registration Deadline: 

Thu, 05/12/2019

Event Organisers: 


Language of event: 



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