Earth Observation - An Eye on the Wild Earth, Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher

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Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, US Navy and (former) Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spoke during the Monday (9 November) WILD9 plenary on "Earth Observation - An Eye on the Wild Earth."

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Earth Observation - An Eye on the Wild Earth, Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher

  1. 1. Earth Observation -- An Eye on the Wild Earth -- November 9, 2009 Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr. Vice President, Polar Programs WILD9 Merida, Mexico Wilderness Working Sessions November 9 – 13, 2009
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Earth Observation </li></ul><ul><li>The Wilderness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Land </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ocean </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cryosphere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Climate Change and Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Preserving a Viable Future </li></ul>
  3. 3. Earth Observation <ul><li>Fundamental to existence of human species </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adaptation to changing environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basis of scientific method </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economy relies on earth observation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Local -- Regional -- global </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nations share information across National Boundaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Weather – satellites and surface sensors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Location and Spread of Diseases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Global Seismic Networks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combining information from different observation systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tsunami Reporting System </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Public Health </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Earth Observation saves lives! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Background </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Earth Observation <ul><ul><li>Hurricane Ida </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Global Earth Observation <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>World Summit on Sustainable Development and G-8 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Earth Observation Summit I </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multidisciplinary, comprehensive, integrated, coverage, availability of information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Current </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group on Earth Observations (GEO) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nine Benefit Areas (Disasters, Climate, Weather, Energy, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Health, Water, and Ecosystems) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>USGEO – U.S. Interagency effort led by White House </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. hosts GEO plenary this year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Successes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GEO NETCAST </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tsunami Warning System </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased global cooperation </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Global Earth Observation <ul><li>Organization (non-UN) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80 Nations and 56 international(UN)/intergovernmental organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ministerial level – Earth Observing Summits every 3 or 4 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Headquartered in Geneva </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Membership open to all countries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Achieve comprehensive, coordinated, and sustained Earth observations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity building for developing countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full and open exchange of information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Support -- voluntary contributions (developed nations) </li></ul><ul><li>Ten Year Plan -- GEOSS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Systems and projects (ex. Global Climate Observing System GCOS, Carbon monitoring of forests) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports Nine Benefit Areas (Disasters, Climate, Weather, Energy, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Health, Water, and Ecosystems) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Global Observation
  8. 8. Ocean Observation
  9. 9. The Wilderness <ul><li>Unspoiled areas must be preserved </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Model of earth systems before human influences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All parts needed - rain forests to desert areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Survival depends on biodiversity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hedge against natural and human induced change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited number of cultivated grain species </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant loss of species has already occurred </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Life depends on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chemical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biological </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combination of all three (ex: Oxygen Cycle) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>System and Systems Complexity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Land </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can we begin to understand this complexity? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Wilderness <ul><li>Home to ecosystems at least as varied as on land </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mountainous regions – plate boundaries and ridges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coral reefs teeming with life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deserts with minimal chain of life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From Arctic to Antarctic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vast numbers of “undiscovered” species </li></ul><ul><li>Significant areas remain pristine , </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but ocean circulation makes problems global! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>70% of Earth surface </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>50% of Oxygen we breathe </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>20% of world’s protein we eat </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>100% of water we drink </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ocean wilderness is fundamental to life! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ocean </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The Wilderness <ul><li>Effects of Human intervention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ocean </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ocean remains seriously under observed! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dead Zones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decimated Coral Reefs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marine Debris </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of Apex Predators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Endangered Species </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ocean Acidification </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. The Wilderness <ul><li>Most difficult to study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First human at the South Pole less than 100 years ago </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extreme and harsh environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Antarctic governed by international treaty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preserved as a “wilderness” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Available for Scientific study </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Both polar areas have viable ecosystems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fish with “antifreeze” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Robust chain of ocean life </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bellwether for global climate change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ice cores provide historical climate records </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Study of ice accumulation and loss critical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Polar (Cryosphere) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observing systems are crucial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Antarctic Plain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arctic Tundra </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Climate Change and Environment <ul><li>The “Wilderness” system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Terrestrial, Oceanic, Polar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Connected – ex: water cycle </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Represents the earth system in its purest form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Least disturbed by human impacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An essential source of scientific understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be preserved to improve human capacities to live sustainably </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Climate and environmental change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current knowledge must be expanded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impacts are visible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accuracy of models limited </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can we improve our understanding? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wilderness and Climate </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Climate Change and Environment <ul><li>Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supported as essential by IPCC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>World wide coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Essential instruments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustained </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Global Carbon Monitoring System (CMOS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Carbon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Critical building block of life </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Subject of national and international regulation discussions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Occurs in large number of chemical and biological systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carbon cycle understanding critical </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Water Cycle </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustained Earth observations are the key </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Global Climate Observation </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Preserving a Viable Future <ul><li>Preserving and Conserving the wilderness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marine Sanctuaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Areas of ocean set aside to protect ocean resources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries – equivalent to National Parks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Under President Bush ocean areas preserved nearly quadrupled </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Papahanaumokuakea (NW Hawaiian Islands) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Three other large Pacific Ocean/Island areas </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainable Fishing regulations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Observing Systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ENSO observing system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tsunami Warning System </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ecosystem Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large Marine Ecosystems (LME) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marine Spatial Planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ocean </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And much more! </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Preserving a Viable Future <ul><li>Much of our wilderness has been destroyed </li></ul><ul><li>Recovery projects can provide vital public education and involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Fort McHenry Wetlands Restoration Project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Replacement of wetlands destroyed during development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initially less that successful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensive earth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>observations led to success </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteers with some expert </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>guidance and resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recovery Projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Earth observation leads to local success! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rebuild </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Success </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Preserving a Viable Future <ul><li>Preserve and conserve the wilderness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From the equator to the Poles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set aside areas to protect current ecosystems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Invest in earth observing systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage all nations to join GEO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>End to end (share the information) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand capacity building efforts for developing nations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up national observing system agencies and committees </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Educate the public to the needs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding the past and present is essential to forecast the future </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Science is based on data, not speculation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage in demonstration recovery projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What can we do? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live and develop sustainably! </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. The End <ul><ul><li>With many thanks to the organizers, sponsors and attendees! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best wishes for a most successful conference! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And a sustainable future for all! </li></ul></ul>Earth Observation -- An Eye on the Wild Earth Conrad C Lautenbacher, Jr.
  19. 19. Photo Credits <ul><li>  Antarctic landscape - http://www.meteorologyclimate.com/antartica-landscape.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>  Coral Reef - http://images.google.com/images?gbv=2&hl=en&safe=strict&client=dell-usuk-rel&channel=us&ad=w5&sa=1&q=ocean+fish+coral+reef&aq=f&oq=&aqi=&start=0 </li></ul><ul><li>  Dying coral reef - http://images.google.com/images?gbv=2&hl=en&safe=strict&client=dell-usuk-rel&channel=us&ad=w5&sa=1&q=ocean+fish+coral+dying+&aq=f&oq=&aqi=&start=0 </li></ul><ul><li>  Arctic tundra - http://www.geography.hunter.cuny.edu/~tbw/wc.notes/15.climates.veg/veg.images/tundra/arctic.tundra.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>  Shark - http://www.moviecritic.com.au/userimages/user624_1161130300.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>  Carbon cycle - http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange1/current/lectures/kling/carbon_cycle/carbon_cycle.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>  Global earth observing system - http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/research/themes/observing/img/image001.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>  Ft. McHenry wetlands restoration - http://www.magazine.noaa.gov/stories/images/fort-mchenry-marsh.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>  Ft. McHenry gps - http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PROJECTS/Wetlands/Ft_McHenry/images/ft_mchenry_gps.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>  Wetlands early - http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/magazine/coastal/photo_1_wetlands_220.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>  Man with umbrella - http://improbable.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/RainManWithUmbrella.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>  Geo logo - http://www.earthzine.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/geo_logo_full1.gif </li></ul><ul><li>  Rainforest frog - http://www.duke.edu/web/nicholas/bio217/jmz28/rainforest-animals-redeyedfrog1.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>Marine debris with monk seal - http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/magazine/debris/image2_650.jpg   </li></ul><ul><li>Orca whale - http://www.whale-images.com/data/media/2/wildlife-photos_9.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>ENSO Observing System - http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/.noaa/gif/enso-obs-sys.gif </li></ul><ul><li>Tsunami Warning System Ocean Buoys - http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/dart.shtml </li></ul>
  20. 20. Backup
  21. 21. Climate Change and Global Warming <ul><li>What’s the difference? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we know? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Surface temperature records </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Polar Regions, Glaciers, and Ice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecosystem changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Severe Weather (heat waves, tornadoes, and hurricanes) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IPCC </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What’s Missing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensive Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Global Carbon Monitoring System (GCMS) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sufficiently accurate historical records </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time to verify models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Computing Capacity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solar indirect effects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An objective forum free from political grand standin g </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>National Climate Service regimen </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Science in Antarctica
  23. 23. Tsunamis and Warning Systems <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is a Tsunami? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Historical Records </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Current </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The United States Warning System </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The International System </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System Components </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current Warning system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Banda Ache, Indonesia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Samoa </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Tsunamis Warning System Ocean Buoys

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