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GROUP ON    EARTH OBSERVATIONSCrafting geoinformation         The art and science of Earth observation
GROUP ONEARTH OBSERVATIONS              Crafting       geoinformation    The art and science of Earth observation
GROUP ON                              EARTH OBSERVATIONS7 bis, avenue de la Paix, CP 2300CH-1211 Geneva 2, SwitzerlandTel ...
CONTENTSINTRODUCTION                                                                                                      ...
WEATHER: Typhoon Lupit                 85       ECOSYSTEMS: Ecosystem services         92       AGRICULTURE: Food security...
Crafting geoinformation:   The art and science of Earth observation   INTRODUCTION    roducing geoinformation is a science...
Many of these instruments are arrayed in regional networks, while             Geo-Wiki project provides an innovative exam...
Typhoon Lupit, which threatened the Philippines in October 2009,             All of the stories featured here confirm the ...
THE FOLLOWING AGENCIES AND ORGANIZATIONS ARE THE PROVIDERS OF THE INFORMATION SYSTEMS, SERVICESAND PRODUCTS DESCRIBED IN T...
European Centre for Medium-range Weather          German Aerospace Center (DLR)Forecasts (ECMWF)                          ...
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis                                      Meningitis Environmental Risk In...
University of Maryland                                    US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)Univers...
Information fordecision making
THE HAITI EARTHQUAKEOn 12 January 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the Haitian         processed using up-to-date c...
Haiti: before the earthquakeThis multi-spectral image was captured by Landsat, aseries of Earth observation satellites ope...
Port-au-Prince: 12 January 2010This map uses various symbols and colours to indicate informal Internally   and Research (U...
Port-au-Prince: 13 January 2010This map product classifies the level of buildingdamage in each 250-metre grid on the basis...
Port-au-Prince: recovery planning and reconstructionA comprehensive atlas of damage caused in Haitihas been produced to he...
Port-au-Prince: 48 hours onThe first radar satellite high-resolution imagesavailable for Port-au-Prince were dated 14 Janu...
Developing elevation maps                            Digital Elevation Models use optical and radar                       ...
Port-au-Prince: fault analysisThis image shows the distribution of surface deformation caused by the earthquake derived fr...
73.5ºW                             73.0ºW                              72.5ºW                          72.0ºW             ...
Fault analysis                               73.5ºW                          73.0ºW                    72.5ºW             ...
MENINGITIS IN AFRICAMany different factors have been known to contribute to disease out-                 The main image ab...
Aerosols in the atmosphereSuspended particles in the atmosphere known as aerosols can affect    operating for limited peri...
Humidity Specific humidity                                                        Meningitis outbreaks Jan-Feb 2008       ...
Wind directionThe Inter-Tropical Discontinuity, or ITD, is the demarcation line between                           ITD DEKA...
Precipitation, pressure and dust concentration            BSC-DREAM8b 12h acc. Precipitation and MSL pressure             ...
THE DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILLOn 20 April 2010, an explosion occurred on the semi-submersible offshore   satellites, aero...
Mississippi Delta: 24 May 2010 The Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectro- radiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captu...
Tracking surface oil                             Gulfport      Mobile   Pensacola        New Orleans                      ...
Surface ocean currents                              Surface current forecast for 8pm EDT Friday 14 May 2010               ...
Trajectory mapping                                             Trajectory Forecast                                        ...
Developing scenarios                                                                              As the oil moved towards...
Providing information tolocal communitiesThe dynamic nature of the Deep-water Horizon oil spill was achallenge for local c...
FORESTS AND CARBONForests play a vital role in regulating climate, storing carbon andproviding many other ecosystem servic...
Coordinating data                                         Monitoring trends in forest cover requires obtaining data       ...
Trained observers take in situ measurements to provide “ground truth”in order to validate and calibrate satellite measurem...
Using satellite radar sensors ...A time series of processed images showing the removal of a Malaysianmangrove forest over ...
... to monitor mangrove clearanceThe three previous images have been combined into this compositeimage. The different colo...
Scenes acquired                                                                                                           ...
7ºN       Land cover and land use        Tropical lowland forest       High shrub        Tropical mountain forest      Med...
Land cover and land useThe Amazon Deforestation MonitoringProgram (PRODES) of Brazil’s NationalInstitute for Space Researc...
WATER RESOURCESWater-flow forecasting systems in individual catchments provideessential information for managing the water...
Land cover                                                                                  codes                         ...
ETN-Rmonitoringstations             European Terrestrial Network for River Discharge             The monitoring stations t...
Soil texture classificationsGeographic information system (GIS) layers for topsoil (below left) andsubsoil (right) are eac...
ElevationHeight in metres     < -20     -20-200     200-500     500-750     750-1,000     1,000-1,500     1,500-2,000     ...
Slope and hypsometryIntermediate landform products derived from the DEM include slopeclassification (steepness intensity, ...
Precipitation forecastDeterministic precipitation forecasts are used as inputs into the                        To increase...
Annual run-offThe global distribution of mean annual runoff (mm/year) indicates themaximum available renewable freshwater ...
Water scarcity                                                                                       The water scarcity in...
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  1. 1. GROUP ON EARTH OBSERVATIONSCrafting geoinformation The art and science of Earth observation
  2. 2. GROUP ONEARTH OBSERVATIONS Crafting geoinformation The art and science of Earth observation
  3. 3. GROUP ON EARTH OBSERVATIONS7 bis, avenue de la Paix, CP 2300CH-1211 Geneva 2, SwitzerlandTel +41 22 730 8505www.earthobservations.orgThe Group on Earth Observations is coordinating efforts to build a Global © Group on Earth Observations, November 2010Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS. It was launched inresponse to calls for action by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable ISBN 978-0-9563387-4-7Development and by the G8 (Group of Eight) leading industrialized countries.These high-level meetings recognized that international collaboration is Prepared by the GEO Secretariat, Geneva, Switzerlandessential for exploiting the growing potential of Earth observations to Coordination: Michael Williams and José Achachesupport decision making in an increasingly complex and environmentallystressed world. URL: www.earthobservations.org/docs_pub.shtml GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and internationalorganizations. It provides a framework within which these partners can Cover photo: The EIGEN-CG01C geoid. The NASA/DLR GRACE missiondevelop new projects and coordinate their strategies and investments. As (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) provides highly accurate dataof June 2010, GEO’s members include 81 governments and the European on Earth’s gravity field. Using these data, models such as this ‘EIGEN-Commission. In addition, 58 intergovernmental, international and regional CG01C’ geoid can be created. The geoid is a reference surface in theorganizations with a mandate in Earth observation or related issues have gravity field of Earth for the measurement and description of the planet’sbeen recognized as participating organizations. shape. The data come from both GRACE and the satellite CHAMP. GEO is constructing GEOSS on the basis of a 10-year implementationplan for the period 2005 to 2015. The plan defines a vision statement for A Banson productionGEOSS, its purpose and scope, expected benefits, and the nine “Societal Cambridge, UKBenefit Areas” of disasters, health, energy, climate, water, weather, Printed in the UK by the Lavenham Pressecosystems, agriculture and biodiversity. using FSC-certified papers.
  4. 4. CONTENTSINTRODUCTION 5CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES AND ORGANIZATIONS 8INFORMATION FOR DECISION MAKING 13 DISASTERS: The Haiti earthquake 15 HEALTH: Meningitis in Africa 25 ENERGY: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill 30 CLIMATE: Forests and carbon 37 WATER: Water resources 45 PRODUCING DATA 55 Carbon dioxide: flux towers ................................................................................................................................................................56 Ocean temperature and salinity: Argo buoys .....................................................................................................................58 Volcanic ash clouds: Lidars................................................................................................................................................61 Greenhouse gases: the “IBUKI” satellite...........................................................................................................................66 Topography: radar from satellites ....................................................................................................................................68 Gravity: the GRACE satellites.............................................................................................................................................70 Past climates: ice cores ....................................................................................................................................................72 Rain: radar stations...........................................................................................................................................................74 Mapping the surface: virtual satellite consellations..........................................................................................................76 Earthquakes: the Global Seismographic Network .............................................................................................................78 On-site validation: the GEO-Wiki ......................................................................................................................................79 Interoperability: the Sensor Web.......................................................................................................................................83 In situ observation: people power .....................................................................................................................................84 The art and science of Earth observation 3
  5. 5. WEATHER: Typhoon Lupit 85 ECOSYSTEMS: Ecosystem services 92 AGRICULTURE: Food security 99 BIODIVERSITY: Protected areas 108 CONCLUSION: Global change and trends 1164 Crafting geoinformation
  6. 6. Crafting geoinformation: The art and science of Earth observation INTRODUCTION roducing geoinformation is a science, and an art. Like every creative the feast that is GEOSS, the Global Earth Observation System of Systems.P human endeavour, it requires a sense of purpose, plus fortitude,ingenuity, training and talent. They are the individuals standing behind the multitude of observation systems, models, computers and information services that are increasingly essential to helping humanity mitigate natural disasters andForecasting next week’s weather, next winter’s snow cover, this year’s disease epidemics, predict severe weather events, sustainably manageglobal soy production, or long-term changes in forest cover all require natural resources and maintain our ecological balance.an impressive combination of technology, hard work and expertise. Theproduction chain for generating such forecasts and assessments, from Crafting geoinformation seeks to inspire greater appreciation of the artthe conception of an Earth monitoring instrument for gathering the and science of Earth observation by taking the reader behind the scenesnecessary data to the final delivery of useful information, is a long one. and revealing the secrets of the kitchen where geoinformation is made.Compelling photos of the cloud-wreathed Earth from space, or highly OBSERVING OUR PLANETprocessed, multi-coloured images of its surface, are familiar sights GEOSS interconnects the Earth observation systems that are ownedtoday. What people do not always realize is just how much work goes into and maintained by the member governments and participatingmaking these observations available. Designing, building, launching, organizations of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Investments intesting, processing and delivering data from an observation system takes environmental monitoring and forecasting have now reached a criticala minimum of five years, often 10 years for space-based instruments. mass, resulting in a vast and expanding array of observation systems.Even more time, technology, expertise and collaboration are required to These include ocean buoys, meteorological stations and balloons, sonartransform these data into information products and services that can and radar systems, seismic and Global Positioning System (GPS)support decision making. This endeavour can be compared to making stations, more than 60 high-tech environmental satellites and a largefine wine or preparing a great meal: although the diner rarely peeks into number of powerful computerized models. GEO seeks to make thesethe kitchen to see how the ingredients are being assembled and systems fully interoperable and accessible.processed, he can only enjoy the gourmet dishes and vintage bottlesthanks to the intensive labour, technology, creativity and skills of highly Crafting geoinformation describes a small sample of the observingtrained teams. instruments and systems that monitor the Earth from space, the atmosphere, the oceans and the land. Each instrument provides a uniqueThis book is dedicated to the engineers, technicians, scientists, computer vantage point on some aspect of the Earth system; together, they offer ageeks and practitioners – the wine makers and chefs who are serving up comprehensive picture of the planet. Introduction 5
  7. 7. Many of these instruments are arrayed in regional networks, while Geo-Wiki project provides an innovative example of how the internet canothers are contained in global networks maintained by international be used to network people and ensure the in situ validation of remotepartnerships. The examples given here are of radars for tracking rain, observations; it invites individuals around the world to share theirflux towers for measuring carbon dioxide levels, ocean buoys for personal knowledge and observations to help validate regional andmonitoring currents and heat transport, and seismographs for recording global land cover maps.earthquakes. Also featured are the high-powered drills used to obtainice cores for reconstructing past climates. INFORMING DECISION MAKERS The bulk of this book is dedicated to nine stories that picture GEOSS-In addition to these instruments based on or near the Earth’s surface, based decision making in the nine GEO societal benefit areas, thusmore and more instruments are being flown by satellites. The ones illustrating the range of highly topical issues that Earth observationdescribed in this book are used to measure atmospheric levels of carbon helps to address. We have deliberately chosen not to provide thedioxide and methane; to image the Earth’s surface, topography and technical details of how each system works. Instead, the stories simplytectonic deformation; and to monitor the Earth’s gravity field in order to outline the process for gathering data and images, processing andgain insight into the thickness of the polar ice caps and changes in the combining them, and then presenting the resulting information tosubsurface water table. decision makers.To date, one of GEO’s greatest accomplishments has been to advance For example, earthquakes were big news in 2010. The days and weeksthe full and open sharing of Earth observation data. Several examples following the quake that struck Port-au-Prince in January 2010 revealedare offered that highlight the importance of such openness and that the rapid provision of information was critical in enabling emergencycollaboration. The concept of virtual constellations, whereby space responders to take rapid action.agencies coordinate the missions and outputs of their satellites inorder to compensate for the long time it takes individual instruments The case study on meningitis epidemics in Africa provides furtherto revisit the same site, is illustrated by complementary images of evidence of how collaboration amongst data providers and analysts fromcentral Beijing. different communities – in this case health experts and climate researchers – can generate information and answers that can saveLidars (LIght Detection And Ranging) have enormous potential for human lives.measuring forests, polar ice, clouds, aerosols, gases, wind and many otherparameters. The need to track the ash cloud that Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Also in 2010, observations from satellites, ocean vessels and othervolcano emitted in early 2010, causing chaos for air travellers in Europe, carriers were critical to the early and near-real time assessments of,provides a superb example of data sharing and collaboration. and responses to, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.One should not forget human observers with their pens and notebooks, The prediction of extreme weather events clearly requires rapid andperhaps the most sophisticated Earth observation instrument of all. The collaborative efforts to gather and analyse observations. The case of6 Crafting geoinformation
  8. 8. Typhoon Lupit, which threatened the Philippines in October 2009, All of the stories featured here confirm the key message that capturingconfirms that space agencies, meteorological offices and analysts are observations and producing information is a complex and challengingwell practised at sharing data and forecasts. Together they are now process. It requires heavy investment and long-term planning bygenerating more accurate probabilistic forecasts to help communities governments and organizations, innovative design and construction byanticipate and prepare for destructive storms. engineers and technicians, sophisticated modelling and analysis by scientists and experts, and the coordinated creativity and commitmentCollaboration is also essential for predicting the availability of water of many individuals, institutions and governments. It is our hope that,resources for agriculture, energy and domestic use, as well as for after exploring this book, the reader will gain a better understanding offorecasting the risk of floods and droughts. Such work requires the the value of Earth observation and the critical importance of sustainingengagement of many different teams and systems for gathering wide- our global monitoring and information systems.ranging data and analyses on a diverse range of variables, such asprecipitation, soils and topography.Yet another example looks at the provision of information on forest coverand, more importantly, deforestation rates. This is vital for estimatingthe capacity of forests to store carbon, preserve biodiversity and provideother ecosystem services.Environmental information products are also valuable tools for makinglonger-term decisions. Examples of how information is generated tosupport biodiversity conservation planning in Africa, and of how mappingis used to evaluate global ecosystems, further demonstrate the powerof Earth observation. An ambitious effort to build a comprehensive globalmonitoring system for agriculture and food security offers similarinsights into the increasing potential of geoinformation to promotehuman well-being.Crafting geoinformation concludes with a series of global images of theEarth that provide snapshots of the state of the planet in 2010. Some ofthe parameters shown do not change substantially over time. Othervariables change continuously. These snapshots constitute a baseline José Achacheagainst which we will be able to assess global change over the coming Secretariat Directoryears and decades. Group on Earth Observations Introduction 7
  9. 9. THE FOLLOWING AGENCIES AND ORGANIZATIONS ARE THE PROVIDERS OF THE INFORMATION SYSTEMS, SERVICESAND PRODUCTS DESCRIBED IN THIS BOOK African Center of Meteorological Applications for Chinese Academy of Sciences Development (ACMAD) Committee on Earth Observation Satellites Argo (CEOS) AsiaFlux Consortium for Small-scale Modelling (COSMO) BirdLife International Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) Brazil National Institute for Space Research EARLINET (INPE) European Civil Protection China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application (CRESDA) European Commission (EC) China Meteorological Administration (CMA) European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) China National Space Administration (CNSA)8 Crafting geoinformation
  10. 10. European Centre for Medium-range Weather German Aerospace Center (DLR)Forecasts (ECMWF) German Weather Service (DWD)European Space Agency (ESA) Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW)e-GEOS Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS-NET) Global Monitoring for Environment and SecurityFluxNet (GMES)Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Global Runoff Data Centre (GRDC)Nations (FAO) Global Seismographic Network (GSN)French Space Agency (CNES) Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)GeoEye International Charter for Space and Major DisastersGeo-Wiki Contributing agencies and organizations 9
  11. 11. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Meningitis Environmental Risk Information (IIASA) Technologies (MERIT) Project Italian Space Agency (ASI) OGC ® Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) OneGeology Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) Regional Service of Image Treatment and Remote Sensing (SERTIT) Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) SarVision Japan National Institute of Advanced Industrial South Africa Council for Scientific and Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) Research (CSIR) UK Met Office Japan National Institute of Informatics (NII) United Nations Environment Programme World JapanFlux Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)10 Crafting geoinformation
  12. 12. University of Maryland US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)University of Miami Wageningen UniversityUniversity of Tokyo World Meteorological Organization (WMO)UNAVCOUnited Nations Institute for Training and Research(UNITAR)US Department of Agriculture (USDA)US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)US Geological Survey (USGS)US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Contributing agencies and organizations 11
  13. 13. Information fordecision making
  14. 14. THE HAITI EARTHQUAKEOn 12 January 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the Haitian processed using up-to-date cartographic material to create situationcapital of Port-au-Prince, killing almost 250,000 people, injuring maps for helping rescuers locate damaged areas and at-risk people.hundreds of thousands and leaving another million homeless. In the In parallel, scientists benefited from the rapid availability ofimmediate wake of the disaster, the United Nations and various national satellite images of the Haitian earthquake via the GEO Supersites webemergency response agencies obtained satellite data via the Inter- site. This allowed them to analyse the fault that caused the disaster,national Charter on Space and Major Disasters. These satellite images predict the potential for further seismic events, and provide advice towere provided by Canada, China, France, Japan, the United States of policy makers and relief teams.America and the European Space Agency. Within 24 hours they were Source: UNDP. Information for decision making: disasters 15
  15. 15. Haiti: before the earthquakeThis multi-spectral image was captured by Landsat, aseries of Earth observation satellites operated by theUnited States since 1973. Multi-spectral images consistof a limited number of specific wavelengths, includingfrequencies invisible to the human eye, that areparticularly effective in revealing information aboutlandforms. The clouds, distortions caused by the camera Port-au-Princelens and other irregularities have been removed andcorrected to process the present image. The epicentre(yellow star) and fault line (red line) have been added.Source: COMET Centre for the Observation and aultModelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics, UK. Enriquillo F16 Crafting geoinformation
  16. 16. Port-au-Prince: 12 January 2010This map uses various symbols and colours to indicate informal Internally and Research (UNITAR), has produced several such post-earthquakeDisplaced Persons (IDP) sites as well as bridges and road obstacles using maps of Haiti to illustrate damage assessments, pre- and post-disasterGeoEye-1 satellite imagery from 12 January. The Operational Satellite comparisons, and much more.Applications Programme UNOSAT, hosted by the UN Institute for Training UPDATE 1: ANALYSIS SUMMARY WITHIN PORT-AU-PRINCE: Republic Haiti - 123 informal IDP shelters identified; Port-au- - 77 bridges and culverts were identified: Dominican Prince four appeared to be partially damaged ¬ ¦ ¥ or blocked with building debris; - 449 road obstacles were identified, almost all resulting from building debris; of this total 125 were severe, likely Airfield blocking all vehicle transport, and 231 were partial road obstructions, restricting Port vehicle access. Bridge Culvert Foot bridge Primary road Secondary road Unpaved/minor road Railroad Likely informal IDP site Likely closed by debris Likely restricted by debris Metres 0 250 500 750 1,000 1,250 1,500 Operational Analysis with GeoEYE-1 Data Acquired 13 January 2010 and QuickBird data aquired 4 March 2008 Map Data © 2009 Google The depiction and use of boundaries, geographic names and related data shown here are not warranted to be error-free nor do they imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations. UNOSAT is a program of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), providing satellite imagery and related geographic information, research and analysis to UN humanitarian & development agencies & their implementing partners. Source: UNITAR/UNOSAT. Information for decision making: disasters 17
  17. 17. Port-au-Prince: 13 January 2010This map product classifies the level of buildingdamage in each 250-metre grid on the basis of anexpert visual interpretation of a satellite imageacquired on 13 January.Source: GeoEye.18 Crafting geoinformation
  18. 18. Port-au-Prince: recovery planning and reconstructionA comprehensive atlas of damage caused in Haitihas been produced to help recovery planning and recon-struction measures. The maps, based on the comparisonbetween pre-disaster satellite imagery and post-disasteraerial photos, provide an overview of building damage inthe main affected cities. They reveal that almost 60,000buildings were destroyed or very heavily damaged,including a number of critical infrastructures such asgovernment premises, educational buildings and hospitals.Source: This mapping activity was performed by SERTIT and DLR-ZKI in thecontext of the GMES Emergency Response Project SAFER with funding from theEuropean Communitys Seventh Framework Programme. Information for decision making: disasters 19
  19. 19. Port-au-Prince: 48 hours onThe first radar satellite high-resolution imagesavailable for Port-au-Prince were dated 14 January,only 48 hours after the event. Using these imagesalong with reference images acquired duringprevious campaigns, it was possible to rapidly assessthe effects of the earthquake on the affected area.The ILU (Interferometric Land Use modified) map ofthe Port-au-Prince area produced by the ItalianSpace Agency using COSMO-Skymed images reportsareas where there is a big difference in the back-scattering between the pre- and the post-eventimages (red elements), highlighting the zones moreaffected by the quake.Source: ASI/COSMO-Skymed.20 Crafting geoinformation
  20. 20. Developing elevation maps Digital Elevation Models use optical and radar space observations to map the elevation and contours of the Earth’s surface, highlighting features such as mountains and rivers. They are used for a wide range of purposes, such as creating relief maps, modelling water flow to anticipate flooding impacts, predicting landslides and planning new infrastructure. In this image, the long horizontal line is the earthquakes fault line; Port-au-Prince and its harbour can be seen just above. Source: NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). Information for decision making: disasters 21
  21. 21. Port-au-Prince: fault analysisThis image shows the distribution of surface deformation caused by the earthquake derived from interferometric analysis ofradar data acquired by the PALSAR instrument on the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Advanced Land ObservingSatellite (ALOS). The area of many contours, near the city of Léogâne, shows an area of surface uplift caused by fault motion atdepth. Areas of intense local deformation, mostly in soft soil and perhaps involving landslides, show as incoherent specklepatterns. This interferogram shows that the main earthquake rupture did not reach the surface on land.Source: Eric Fielding/JPL/NASA/JAXA.22 Crafting geoinformation
  22. 22. 73.5ºW 73.0ºW 72.5ºW 72.0ºW Fault analysis 20 cm To model the potential for future GONAVE PLATE earthquakes, researchers simulated19.0ºN the coseismic ground motion based on the finite fault model of Caltech. Black arrows show expected displacements at Global Positioning System (GPS) Port-au-Prince sites, while the background colour shows interferometric fringes. Through an iterative process, a model is built and then gradually18.5ºN improved until it corresponds more fully with observations (including both Enriquillo fault aps and interferometric analysis of USGS CMT radar images). The model is a vital aid for understanding and predicting the probability of future shocks. Harvard CMT GPS site18.0ºN Aftershocks (USGS/NEIC) CARIBBEAN PLATE m 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 Slip distribution from A. Sladen (Caltech) cm -11.8 0.0 11.8 Source: E. Calais, Purdue University. Range change Information for decision making: disasters 23
  23. 23. Fault analysis 73.5ºW 73.0ºW 72.5ºW 72.0ºW 20 cmIn this image scientists have sought GONAVE PLATE Dominican Republicto model the redistribution of 19.0ºN HAITIstress along the fault line resultingfrom the earthquake. The model reveals that thegreatest area of concern for a Port-au-Princelarge triggered shock is immed-iately to the east of the 12 January2010 rupture of the Enriquillo fault,where stress is calculated to have 18.5ºNrisen. Typically, stress increasesof this magnitude are associated Enriquillo faultwith aftershocks (white dots). Thenext most likely site for a sub-sequent fault rupture lies to thewest of the 12 January rupturewhere, interestingly, aftershocksare observed. 18.0ºN Aftershocks (USGS/NEIC) CARIBBEAN PLATE MPa -0.08 -0.06 -0.04 -0.02 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08Source: E. Calais, Purdue University. Coulomb stress24 Crafting geoinformation
  24. 24. MENINGITIS IN AFRICAMany different factors have been known to contribute to disease out- The main image above is of a massive dust storm sweeping acrossbreaks, and over the past several years the health sector has increasingly the southern Sahara Desert on 19 March 2010. This image is made up ofrecognized that the environment may be one of the factors for climate- seven separate satellite overpasses acquired by the Moderate Resolutionsensitive illnesses. The Meningitis Environmental Risk Information Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellitesTechnologies (MERIT) project illustrates how the health and climate throughout the morning and early afternoon. Grey triangles indicate areascommunities are cooperating to support decision making. MERIT is where the satellites did not collect data. The image spans more than 10,000demonstrating how combining data, information and models on kilometres (6,000 miles). The smaller picture shows a meningitis victim.demographics, health resources, past outbreaks, vaccination campaigns,environmental changes and other variables can support public-healthinterventions. The decision by the World Health Organization and the otherMERIT partners to model meningitis disease outbreaks is a step towardsdeveloping an early warning system. It is hoped that they will help to guidethe implementation of a new vaccine campaign under way in 2010. Source (main image): MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC; (inset) WHO. Information for decision making: health 25
  25. 25. Aerosols in the atmosphereSuspended particles in the atmosphere known as aerosols can affect operating for limited periods between 1979 and 2004; the data wereweather and climate as well as people. This diagram of the global validated using ground-based observations. The blue box over Africadistribution of atmospheric aerosols shows that dust from Northern highlights the approximate location of the meningitis belt, home to 350Africa and Asia is a major component of the atmosphere over much of million people. The very dry air and high levels of suspended dustthe world. particles observed during the meningitis season are thought to be The map was generated by combining data from six satellites among the factors leading to disease outbreaks.Aerosol optical depth(a measurement of particledensity in the air) 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 Meningitis beltSource: Kinne, S., "Remote sensing datacombinations-superior global maps for aerosoloptical depth" in Satellite Aerosol Remote SensingOver Land, A. Kokhanovsky and G. de Leeuw eds.,Springer, 2009.26 Crafting geoinformation
  26. 26. Humidity Specific humidity Meningitis outbreaks Jan-Feb 2008 2008 (kg/kg) 0.008 Mali Niger Chad Burkina Faso Guinea Benin Côte Nigeria Ethiopia Togo d’Ivoire Ghana Central African Rep. Cameroon Country Dem. Rep. Attack rate of Congo 0.001 No data ....... ....... ....... ....... Acceptable ....... ©Multi Disease Surveillance Centre (MD SC)/ Reached the alarm threshold World Health Organization/African Region Source: NASA GLDAS. Reached the epidemic threshold Source: Ministries of HealthThese two sets of paired map images represent (left) specific humidity rates during the first 39 weeks of 2008 (above) and 2009 (below). Note thedata for January-February gathered by the NASA Global Land Data strong correlation between the dark blue areas in the humidity maps andAssimilation System (GLDAS) and (right) cumulative meningitis attack the red and yellow areas in the meningitis outbreak maps.Specific humidity Meningitis outbreaksJan-Feb 2009 2009(kg/kg) 0.008 Mali Niger Chad Burkina Faso Guinea Benin Côte Nigeria Ethiopia Togo d’Ivoire Ghana Central African Rep. Cameroon Country Dem. Rep. Attack rate of Congo 0.001 No data ....... ....... ....... ....... Acceptable ....... ©Multi Disease Surveillance Centre (MD SC)/ Reached the alarm threshold World Health Organization/African Region Source: NASA GLDAS. Reached the epidemic threshold Source: Ministries of Health Information for decision making: health 27
  27. 27. Wind directionThe Inter-Tropical Discontinuity, or ITD, is the demarcation line between ITD DEKAD 1 March 2010 MEAN: 07-10 FORECASTthe dry and dusty north/northeasterly winds from the Sahara and the 25moist and humid south/southwesterly winds from the ocean. It movesgradually northwards from its extreme southern position in January to 20its extreme northern position in August, and southwards again from lateAugust to early January. The ITD’s position during the year influencesdisease risk. When areas to its north experience the dry and dusty 15 DEKAD 1 March 2010Harmattan winds, meningitis and acute respiratory diseases tend to Forecast: 18-24/03/2010 10increase. Mean position DEK 1 March: 07-09 5 Source: ACMAD. -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30Population densityIn order to incorporate demographic risk factors as predictors whenmodelling epidemic outbreaks, demographic information about relevantpopulation aspects (such as counts, density, distribution, and age and sexstructure) is combined with climate data. The result is frequentlypresented in raster format (a grid of pixels or points). The Center forInternational Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) uses theirGridded Population of the World (GPW) version 3 and Global Rural UrbanMapping Project (GRUMP) global population surfaces to integrate demo-graphic data with remote-sensing products. Predicted probability of meningitis epidemics Very high risk (p >= 0.80) High risk (0.60 <= p < 0.80) Moderate risk (0.40 <= p < 0.60) Low risk (p < 0.40) No data Population density (people per km2) N High: 140,000 500 km Source: CIESIN. Low: 028 Crafting geoinformation
  28. 28. Precipitation, pressure and dust concentration BSC-DREAM8b 12h acc. Precipitation and MSL pressure Forecasts of sand and dust and basic meteorological variables for 12h forecast for 00z 22 MAR 10 periods of 10 days are currently being made available to health35ºN - practitioners. While such Earth observation-based information products cannot yet be used operationally, they do help increase the health 5030ºN - community’s understanding of, and sensitivity to, the role of the 30 environment in disease outbreaks.25ºN - 2020ºN - 10 515ºN - 210ºN - 1 0.5 5ºN - Source: BSC. 0º - I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 20ºW 10ºW 0º 10ºE 20ºE 30ºE 40ºE ˘ BSC-DREAM8b Lowest model level dust conc. (ug / m 3) 12h forecast for 00z 22 MAR 1035ºN - Meningitis Environmental Risk Information Technologies is a 2,650 partnership of international organizations led by the World Health30ºN - 1,280 Organization in collaboration with governments, academia and the25ºN - 640 private sector. MERIT website: http://merit.hc-foundation.org/ 320 Contributors to this section include the World Health20ºN - 160 Organization; International Research Institute for Climate and 80 Society, Columbia University; Center for International Earth Science15ºN - 40 Information Network, Columbia University; Health and Climate10ºN - 20 Foundation; African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development; World Meteorological Organization; Barcelona 10 5ºN - Supercomputing Center (BSC); and US National Aeronautics and Source: BSC. Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies. 0º - I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 20ºW 10ºW 0º 10ºE 20ºE 30ºE 40ºE Information for decision making: health 29
  29. 29. THE DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILLOn 20 April 2010, an explosion occurred on the semi-submersible offshore satellites, aeroplanes, ships, underwater gliders and scientists on thedrilling rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. In the weeks that ground and on the water to track every aspect of the spill. These data werefollowed, approximately 35,000-60,000 barrels (5,600-9,500 cubic metres) used to derive information and forecasting products that proved invaluableof crude oil a day leaked into the Gulf. for emergency response teams, coastal communities, wildlife managers From day one, US agencies such as the National Oceanic and and many others affected by the spill.Atmospheric Administration, the US Geological Survey and the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration used Earth observations from Source: US Coast Guard.30 Crafting geoinformation
  30. 30. Mississippi Delta: 24 May 2010 The Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectro- radiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of sunlight illuminating the lingering oil slick off the Mississippi Delta on 24 May. Oil smoothes the ocean surface, making the oil slick appear brighter than the surrounding water in some places (image centre) and darker in others (lower right). A small, dark plume along the edge of the slick, not far from the original location of the Deepwater Horizon rig, indicates a possible controlled burn of oil on the ocean surface. Source: NASA.Information for decision making: energy 31
  31. 31. Tracking surface oil Gulfport Mobile Pensacola New Orleans ★ Deepwater Horizon Tampa NOAA’s Satellite Analysis Branch obtained data from a variety of high-resolution visible and synthetic aperture radar satellites from NOAA’s Earth observ- ation partners to document the latest extent of the surface oil (in red). Satellite data used in this daily analysis include NASAs Aqua and Terra MODIS, the Canadian Space Agencys RADARSAT-1 and -2 SAR, the Miami Italian Space Agency’s COSMO-SkyMed, the German Aerospace Center’s TerraSAR-X, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite, Satellite Imaging Corporations SPOT-5, the Disaster Monitoring Constellation’s multispectral imagery and the European Space Agencys ENVISAT SAR. Source: NOAA.32 Crafting geoinformation
  32. 32. Surface ocean currents Surface current forecast for 8pm EDT Friday 14 May 2010 Space-based and in situ observations of35ºN weather, ocean currents and the state of Surface horizontal current (m/s) the sea are vital for crafting the forecasts 120-hour forecast valid 00Z 15 May 2010 and information products needed for decision making. Strong current headed Spill location towards Texas30ºN25ºN Loop20ºN current Max. 2.11 at 29.3ºN 75.1ºW Min: 0.00 at 17.1ºN 76.5ºW NCEP/EMC/MMAB 10 May 201015ºN 100ºW 95ºW 90ºW 85ºW 80ºW 75ºW 0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 Surface horizontal current (m/s) Source: NOAA. Information for decision making: energy 33
  33. 33. Trajectory mapping Trajectory Forecast NOAA/NOS/OR&R Estimate for: 0600 CDT, Thursday, 5/13/10 Mississippi Canyon 252 Date Prepared: 1300 CDT, Wednesday, 5/12/10This forecast of the spill’s future trajectory is 92°00"W 91°00"W 90°00"W 89°00"W 88°00"Wbased on the US National Weather Service spotforecast from the morning of 12 May. Currents 31°00"N 31°00"Nwere obtained from several models (NOAA Gulf of MobileMexico, West Florida Shelf/USF, Texas A&M/ Pascagoula PensacolaTGLO, NAVO/NRL) and High Frequency Resistance Gulfport Bay St Louis(HFR) measurements. The model was initializedfrom a combination of satellite imagery analysis 30°00"N 30°00"N Chandeleur Sound(NOAA/NESDIS) and overflight observations. Morgan City Breton Atchafalaya Sound Bay Venice Barataria Bay 29°00"N Isle Denieres 29°00"N Timbalier Bay Forecast location for oil on 13 May 10 at 0600 CDT 28°00"N 28°00"N Mississippi Canyon 252 Incident Location 0 20 40 miles 80 0 25 50 75 100 km 27°00"N 27°00"N Trajectory Winds are forecast to be persistently from the SE throughout the week. These Uncertainty moderately-strong onshore winds (up to 15 kts) have the potential to move new Light oil onshore. The Mississippi Delta, Breton Sound, the Chandeleur Islands and areas Medium directly north have a potential for shoreline contacts throughout the forecast period. Heavy Oil observed to the west of the Delta offshore of Timbalier Bay could threaten shorelines as far west as Atchafalaya Bay by Thursday. Potential beached oil 92°00"W 91°00"W 90°00"W 89°00"W 88°00"W Next Forecast: This scale bar shows the meaning of the distribution at the current time. May 13 AM Source: NOAA.34 Crafting geoinformation
  34. 34. Developing scenarios As the oil moved towards the coast, there was a clear potential for deposition on sandy beaches and inTropical storm marshes. Weather scenarios were High tide + surge + waves used as an input for making inun- High tide + surge dation and overwash predictions. High tide These scenarios were based on Elevations not affected recent and forecasted weather patterns, as well as larger events that could be expected based on historical records. For each sce- nario, representative values for tide, wave height, wave period and surge were obtained from NOAA models. The total water level, including wave runup, was compared to Lidar Grand Isle elevation data collected by USGS N and the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) to identify Kilometres barrier-island locations where oil 0 1 2 was most likely to be transported Miles and deposited. 0 1 2 Source: USGS. Information for decision making: energy 35
  35. 35. Providing information tolocal communitiesThe dynamic nature of the Deep-water Horizon oil spill was achallenge for local communities,from hotel operators and fishermento local community leaders. GeoPlatform.gov establisheda customizable and interactive mapproviding near real-time infor-mation about the response effort(http://www.geoplatform.gov/gulfresponse). Developed by NOAA withthe US Environmental ProtectionAgency, the US Coast Guard and theUS Department of Interior, the siteintegrates the latest data the USfederal responders have about theoil spill’s trajectory. It also featuresinformation on fishery area clos-ures and sightings of sea turtles(dead or alive) and other wildlife. Source: NOAA.36 Crafting geoinformation
  36. 36. FORESTS AND CARBONForests play a vital role in regulating climate, storing carbon andproviding many other ecosystem services. Policy makers and managerstherefore need timely information on changes in the extent and densityof the world’s forests. This information can be provided by combiningoptical and radar data from satellites with on-the-ground observations. Information for decision making: climate 37
  37. 37. Coordinating data Monitoring trends in forest cover requires obtaining data periodically over many years. These optical images of deforestation in Rondonia, Brazil were taken from the US’s Landsat satellite over a period of 26 years. Source: USGS-Landsat.June 1975 July 1989 September 200138 Crafting geoinformation
  38. 38. Trained observers take in situ measurements to provide “ground truth”in order to validate and calibrate satellite measurements. They typicallyrecord tree diameter and height; species composition (trees, crops andother plants); soil and water quality; and indicators of land degradation.Sample observations taken from each unit of a regular grid make itpossible to extrapolate the results to the entire forest or region. Information for decision making: climate 39
  39. 39. Using satellite radar sensors ...A time series of processed images showing the removal of a Malaysianmangrove forest over several years. These images were taken from anL-band radar sensor on Japan’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite(ALOS). Radar has the advantage of being able to penetrate clouds aswell as the nighttime dark.Source: JAXA/METI.2006 2008 201040 Crafting geoinformation
  40. 40. ... to monitor mangrove clearanceThe three previous images have been combined into this compositeimage. The different colours represent the years in which theforest was cut.Source: JAXA/METI. Information for decision making: climate 41
  41. 41. Scenes acquired June-September 2009 173 Landsat 507 ALOS PALSAR 161 Radarsat 2Combining multiple images over BorneoBy coordinating data acquisition from various satellite missions, it is and building time series from regular observations are essential forpossible to ensure that forests are monitored consistently by a variety of tracking changes.radar and optical sensors. Filling gaps in coverage, establishing baselines42 Crafting geoinformation
  42. 42. 7ºN Land cover and land use Tropical lowland forest High shrub Tropical mountain forest Medium shrub Riverine forest Ferns/grass Time series of processed images are Swamp forest Grassland 6ºN Mangrove forest Cropland (upland) combined to produce information in the Nipah mangrove forest Cropland (irrigated) form of a map of land cover and land use. Peat swamp (pole) forest Plantations Peat swamp (padang) forest Tree cover, burnt The accuracy of the classifications listed Riverine shrubland Water body 5ºN No data in the legend is improved by using com- Forest mosaics/fragmented or degraded forest plementary data from different sensors. The map is validated using in situ and 4ºN airborne observations as well as very high resolution satellite data. 3ºN 2ºN 1ºN 0º 1ºS 2ºS 3ºS Source: Alos K&C Initiative/Wageningen109ºE 110ºE 111ºE 112ºE 113ºE 114ºE 115ºE 116ºE 117ºE 118ºE 119ºE University/SarVision/JAXA. Information for decision making: climate 43
  43. 43. Land cover and land useThe Amazon Deforestation MonitoringProgram (PRODES) of Brazil’s NationalInstitute for Space Research (INPE) is anoperational system for monitoring forestchange. It provides yearly forest/non-forest maps based on regular satelliteand in situ observations in order toidentify the incremental deforestationoccurring over time. Deforestation 1997 Deforestation 2003 Deforestation 2007 Residual Deforestation 2000 Deforestation 2004 Deforestation 2008 Not observed Deforestation 2001 Deforestation 2005 Non forest Hydrography Source: INPE. Deforestation 2002 Deforestation 2006 Forest Clouds44 Crafting geoinformation
  44. 44. WATER RESOURCESWater-flow forecasting systems in individual catchments provideessential information for managing the water resources needed foragriculture, industry and households. They also produce and shareinformation for flood alert systems in order to provide longer lead-timesfor warning people about impending disasters.Source: UNEP. Information for decision making: water 45
  45. 45. Land cover codes 1 23 2 24 3 25 4 26 5 27 6 28 7 29 8 30 9 31 10 32 11 33 12 34 13 35 14 36 15 37 16 38 17 39 18 40 19 41 20 42 21 43 22 44Land cover classificationThe European Flood Alert System (EFAS) geographic informationsystem (GIS) land cover layer contains 44 categories, including urban,agriculture, coniferous/deciduous forest, wetlands and bare soil.Information on the type of land cover is compiled from space and in situobservations. It is critical for determining runoff characteristics in thehydrological model. Source: European Landcover 2000.46 Crafting geoinformation
  46. 46. ETN-Rmonitoringstations European Terrestrial Network for River Discharge The monitoring stations that constitute the European Terrestrial Network for River Discharge (ETN-R) gather near real-time river discharge and water level data from 30 European national and trans- boundary river basins in 35 countries. This network in turn supplies EFAS with in situ river observations. Source: EFAS. Information for decision making: water 47
  47. 47. Soil texture classificationsGeographic information system (GIS) layers for topsoil (below left) andsubsoil (right) are each divided into six categories. Soil information isimportant for determining percolation, runoff and erosion character-istics in the hydrological model. Source: EFAS. Topsoil Subsoil 0 0 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 548 Crafting geoinformation
  48. 48. ElevationHeight in metres < -20 -20-200 200-500 500-750 750-1,000 1,000-1,500 1,500-2,000 2,000-2,500 2,500-3,000 3,000-4,536 Topography A 1-kilometre resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of Europe derived from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) is used by the EFAS hydrological model (colours indicate elevation). A DEM is critical for establishing the slope of terrain in river catchments, which in turn has implications for runoff intensity and the potential for erosion. Source: EFAS. Information for decision making: water 49
  49. 49. Slope and hypsometryIntermediate landform products derived from the DEM include slopeclassification (steepness intensity, below upper) and hypsometry(elevation categories, below lower). Flood alert systems need theseproducts in order to determine the channelling of precipitation runoff andriver flow. Slope classes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Hypsometry classes 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Source: GISCO LAEA. Intermediate landform products Intermediate landform products derived from the slope and hyp- sometry classifications include the probability drainage density, the likelihood of water collecting into an area (upper), and ultimately the river channel network (lower), for which the hydrological model computes water flux in the river basins.50 Crafting geoinformation
  50. 50. Precipitation forecastDeterministic precipitation forecasts are used as inputs into the To increase the robustness of medium-range forecasts, Ensemblehydrological model. In the case of Europe, forecasts for up to 10 days Prediction Systems (EPS) are used to provide an average forecastare supplied by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather computed from several dozen numerical weather model runs. ThisForecasting (ECWMF), and for up to seven days by the German Weather average forecast is then compared with the deterministic forecasts asService (Deutsche Wetter Dienst – DWD). a precipitation input to the hydrological model. 60ºW 40ºW 20ºW 0º 20ºE 40ºE 60ºE Probability of precipitation (%) 100 60ºN 95 50ºN 40ºN 65 30ºN 35 60ºW 40ºW 20ºW 0º 20ºE 40ºE 60ºE Wednesday 21 July 2010 00UTC. Forecast probability t+038-080 VT: Thursday 22 July 2010 12 UTC. Surface: Total precipitation of at least 10 mm. Source: ECMWF. Information for decision making: water 51
  51. 51. Annual run-offThe global distribution of mean annual runoff (mm/year) indicates themaximum available renewable freshwater resource. The amount ofwater that is actually usable depends also on consumption and waterpollution, in addition to the infrastructure for supporting stable watersupply.Source: Oki and Kanae, Science, 2006. Annual runoff (mm/y) 210º 240º 270º 300º 330º 0º 30º 60º 90º 120º 150º 180º 60º 30º 0º -30º -60º 0 5 10 50 100 200 500 1,000 2,000 5,00052 Crafting geoinformation
  52. 52. Water scarcity The water scarcity index reflects the balance between the annual water withdrawal and the maximum available renewable freshwater resource. Water stress is high for regions with a high index. Source: Oki and Kanae, Science, 2006. Water scarcity index 210º 240º 270º 300º 330º 0º 30º 60º 90º 120º 150º 180º60º30º 0º-30º-60º 0.00 0.01 0.10 0.20 0.40 0.60 1.00 Information for decision making: water 53
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