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July 9, 2019
Members of the NASA Disasters Program, including Program Manager David Green, attended the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction meeting in May 2019 to speak at the Second Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference.
Planet Earth is hotter than ever. Seas are invading formerly dry land. Dry is dryer, and wet wetter. Weather extremes threaten life and property as never before, whether it’s ongoing flooding in the U.S. Midwest and, in June, extensive inundations in southern Uruguay or volcanic eruptions in the Kuril Island chain and Papua New Guinea.  The threat of natural disasters continues unabated, with populated areas especially susceptible to extreme damage from earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, landslides, volcanos and wildfires, to name but several. At a recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the United Nations (U.N.) issued its biennial Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, or GAR (https://gar.unisdr.org/), that spells out worldwide efforts to anticipate and reduce disaster risks.  NASA has partnered with the U.N., offering its strengths in remote sensing and data analysis in a collaboration that aims to confront potential global hazards head on. “We have in-space and airborne instrumentation that can ‘look’ at Earth every day of every year. What they see, we translate,” says David Green, manager of NASA’s Disaster Program. “NASA takes that data, analyzes it, and produces images and overlays that tell decisionmakers and first responders where the threats are. When disasters do occur, we steer that information to those on the ground so they can provide as much help as possible where it’s most needed.”

 

May 30, 2019
Landsat 8 OLI imagery near Tulsa, Oklahoma comparing before and after the flood event (May 9th vs. May 28th 2019). Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
The Southern and Central United States have been drenched by rainstorm after rainstorm in the spring of 2019, leading to widespread flooding. Across the continental United States, river gauges at 404 locations were above flood stage on May 29, with the vast majority along the Missouri, Mississippi, and Arkansas rivers and their tributaries. The problem was most acute in late May along the Arkansas River. As of May 29, the National Weather Service reported flooding at 22 gauges along the river in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, not including nearby tributaries and lakes. Major flooding was observed at 13 of those gauges. News media and forecasters predicted flooding in every major community along the river in the coming days. Every county in Oklahoma was in a state of emergency, and evacuations were ordered or recommended in several communities in Arkansas.  MODIS imagery of flooding on the Arkansas River May 27, 2019. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory The false-color image above was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua and Terra on May 27, 2019.. The combination of near-infrared and visible light (MODIS bands 7-2-1) makes it easier to see rivers out of their banks and water spread across flood plains. Water is blue; vegetation is green; clouds are bright blue or white; and bare flood plains along the river are tan (2018 image).

 

May 28, 2019
When Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique on March 15, it had a major impact on the energy grid. This NASA visualization created with data from satellite observations shows nighttime lights before (left) and after landfall, revealing disruptions in en
On June 1, the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season begins. But worldwide there really is no off-season for these tropical storms; they affect the globe in one way or another year-round. At NASA, we leverage the power of our views of Earth from space and research aircraft to assist communities around the world as they plan for — and recover from — these severe, often life-threatening, events. Data from NASA’s robust constellation of orbiting satellites and airborne and ground sensors are used to assess, predict and describe disaster impacts to inform the actions of leaders, first responders, and those providing relief.

 

May 13, 2019
This image from the Landsat 8 OLI acquired on May 7, 2019, shows recent flooding on the MIssissippi River. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
Landsat 8 Monitors Flooding on the Mississippi River // Suomi NPP VIIRS Used to Detect Wildfires Across the UK in 2019

 

May 6, 2019
Temperatures within tropical Cyclone Fani off the coast of India, imaged by NASA's AIRS on May 2, 2019.
AIRS Images Cyclone Fani Before Landfall to Analyze Atmospheric Conditions // GPM IMERG Adds up Rainfall from Cyclone Fani

 

April 25, 2019
Screenshot of the cover of the SAR handbook
"The SAR Handbook: Comprehensive Methodologies for Forest Monitoring and Biomass Estimation" is the culmination of a two-year collaboration between NASA SERVIR and SilvaCarbon. Five trainings, led by six SAR subject matter experts, were held at hubs throughout the SERVIR network. The topics of these trainings included SAR basics, SAR for forest change detection, forest height estimation, biomass estimation, mangrove monitoring, and sampling design. Each of these training topics are covered in a SAR Handbook chapter, which includes the theoretical basics and applied exercises. You can download the entire SAR Handbook (PDF) below, or explore individual chapters, trainings and one-pagers. Each chapter of the SAR Handbook is divided into a theory section, which discusses the scientific background of the chapter topic; a tutorial section, which provides step-by-step instructions on how to put the theory into practice; and additional tutorial materials, which include data, scripts and slideshows necessary to complete the tutorial.  

 

April 16, 2019
Suomi-NPP VIIRS imagery of the midwest blizzard from 4/13/19. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
Suomi NPP VIIRS Tracks Blizzard in the U.S. Midwest

 

April 2, 2019
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created these flood proxy maps depicting areas of Mozambique that are likely flooded as a result of Cyclone Idai. The likely flooding zones ar
ARIA Team Uses Multiple Satellites to Create Flood Proxy Maps for Mozambique // Landsat 8 Used to Identify Landslides and Flood Areas in Zimbabwe from Cyclone Idai // Suomi NPP VIIRS Detects Hundreds of Wildfires in Venezuela

 

April 1, 2019
Sandra Cauffman, acting director of NASA’s Earth Science Division (left), and Dina Esposito, vice president of technical leadership at Mercy Corps, signed a Space Act Agreement between the two organizations on March 29 in Washington. Credits: Mercy Corps
NASA and global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps are partnering to help vulnerable communities in some of the most fragile places on Earth better withstand challenges such as population growth, resource scarcity and climate change. Eighty percent of Nigeriens are subsistence farmers. NASA and Mercy Corps are exploring how NASA’s satellite measurements can help the drought-prone, farming-intensive country create sustainable livelihoods for people like this Nigerien woman watering her garden. Credits: Mercy Corps/Sean Sheridan Under a three-year Space Act Agreement signed on March 29, the partnership will combine NASA’s Earth observation capabilities, including satellite data, imagery, and modeling and analysis, with Mercy Corps’ local insights and development expertise in more than 40 countries. Projects will assist communities in building resilience to complex stresses and making decisions that have long-term benefits for people and the environment. “This partnership enables NASA and Mercy Corps to amplify our collective capacities to reach communities in the most risk-prone regions of the world with the information they need the most,” said David Green, disasters program director in NASA’s Earth Science Division, Washington. “As NASA seeks to expand our understanding of the integrated Earth system from global to local scales, Mercy Corps’ extensive and practical knowledge of the human element – social, environmental, economic and political – is critical.”

 

March 26, 2019
VIIRS Black Marble imagery of Mozambique comparing before (March 9th, 2019) and after (March 24t,h 2019) flood impacts from Cyclone Idai. 
VIIRS "Black Marble" Product Used to Track Damage and Power Outages from Cyclone Idai // ESA Sentinal-1 SAR Data Used to Gauge Extent of Flooding in the Midwest // GPM IMERG Adds Up Rainfall from Cyclone Idai to Monitor Flooding in Mozambique

 

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