Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has announced the completion of its Halls Creek weather radar upgrade, providing more reliable and up-to-date weather information for communities in Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing and central Kimberley.
Images from the newly upgraded weather radar in Western Australia are now live on the BoM website and weather app. The upgrade to the weather radar includes benefits such as new capabilities of Doppler technology to track the location and strength of wind changes.
Todd Smith, hazard preparedness manager north and west, BoM, said, “Emergency services and local industry including aviation and resources, as well as the community, will benefit from clearer images and improved radar stability provided by the new digital receiver and control system.
NASA has established an independent review board (IRB) to proactively assess current plans and goals for the next generation of Earth-observing satellites – NASA’s Earth System Observatory.
The new set of Earth-focused missions will provide key information to guide efforts related to climate change, disaster mitigation, fighting forest fires, improving weather and air quality forecasts, and improving real-time agricultural processes. Within the observatory, each satellite will be uniquely designed to complement the others, providing a 3D, holistic view of Earth, from bedrock to atmosphere.
Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington DC, said, “The Earth System Observatory will take us into the next generation of remote sensing.
Coastal communities in three locations along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts saw record high tide flooding last year — a trend that is expected to continue into 2023 and beyond without improved flood defenses, according to NOAA.
NOAA’s State of High Tide Flooding and 2022 Outlook documents changes in high tide flooding patterns from May 2021 to April 2022 at 97 NOAA tide gauges along the US coast. It also provides a flooding outlook for these locations through April 2023 and projections for the next several decades.
Rick Spinrad, NOAA administrator, said, “High tide flooding is becoming more common and damaging in many parts of the USA.
Marine drone developer Saildrone has partnered with NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research to launch its second hurricane mission, with seven uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) sent to monitor how hurricanes grow and intensify in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
During last year’s hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean, one USV sailed through the eyewall of Category 4 Hurricane Sam, sending back live video footage from inside the eye of the storm.
This year, Saildrone will collect critical data from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico expanding the potential impact of the mission.
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) will become the new home for programs run by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL), which is set to dissolve at the end of September.
The transition marks an historic partnership between the oceanic and atmospheric science communities and will help researchers advance the study of Earth as an interconnected system. The programs will be housed in a new Center for Ocean Leadership, which will reside within the existing UCAR Community Programs.
Antonio Busalacchi, UCAR president, said, “As an oceanographer by training, I am personally and professionally committed to maintaining the legacy of COL and growing the new Center for Ocean Leadership in ways that will continue to support the ocean science community.
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder has launched a new center to explore the human dimensions of environmental challenges.
The Center for Social and Environmental Futures (C-SEF) will bring together social and environmental scientists to better understand how challenges, such as rising temperatures, dwindling water resources and more extreme weather events, will impact people and communities, and how people and communities can develop successful solutions.
Matthew Burgess, CIRES fellow, assistant professor of Environmental Studies and director of C-SEF, said, “Our goal is to connect researchers studying the human dimensions of environmental problems, to each other and to natural scientists.
NOAA and its partners have launched a new pilot project to study flooding on the Mississippi River and how to better protect the most vulnerable communities.
Backed by a US$150,000 investment from NOAA in FY2022, and in-kind services from partners at the Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology through the University of Alabama, the University of Minnesota and the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association, the pilot project ‘Building Knowledge to Support Equitable Climate Resilience’ has two objectives:
Floods, earthquakes and storms caused overall losses of around US$65bn for the first half of 2022, much less than the US$105bn for the same period the previous year, finds insurance specialist Munich Re. At around US$34bn, insured losses were roughly in line with previous years.
Torsten Jeworrek, member of the board of management, Munich Re, said, “The natural disaster picture for the first half of 2022 is dominated by weather-related catastrophes. Extreme tornadoes in the US caused billions in damage, parts of eastern coastal Australia were submerged by floods, and southern Europe struggled with extreme heat, wildfires and drought.