Next-generation disaster losses tracking system to be delivered in 2023
Three UN agencies have committed to developing a new and improved system for tracking the impact of climate-related disasters as part of a global loss and damage fund to aid developing countries. The fund was one of the major outcomes from COP27 in Egypt.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) committed to a consultative process which will see the new system in place next year with a prototype ready for testing by April 2023.
Animesh Kumar, head of the UNDRR Bonn Office, said, “There is a critical need to develop a next-generation hazardous events and disaster losses and damages tracking system building on existing systems such as DesInventar which has been in place since 1994.
Singapore’s met service partners with BoM to improve nowcasting capabilities
Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) and Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) have signed a strategic relationship arrangement (SRA) for a multi-year collaboration program on weather and climate research in the Maritime Continent – the tropical region between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, including the archipelagos of Indonesia, Borneo and the Philippines. The project will have a particular focus on the impact in Singapore and the wider Southeast Asian and Indo-Pacific regions.
Under the SRA, the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS), under NEA and BoM, will undertake research in areas such as very-short-range weather forecasting for the next 1-2 hours (nowcasting) using advanced weather radar data, seasonal prediction and the analysis of regional climate projections data.
Nazca acquires majority stake in met-ocean specialist Eolos
Spanish investment firm Nazca Capital has acquired a majority stake in Eolos Floating Lidar Solutions (Eolos), a provider of met-ocean data for the offshore wind industry. It has also committed to invest €12m (US$12.6m) to accelerate Eolos’s growth plan in the coming years.
Eolos specializes in the collection and commercialization of met-ocean data (meteorological, environmental and marine) for the offshore wind industry, measured through proprietary floating platforms equipped with lidar technology to measure wind characteristics, as well as other advanced sensors for the characterization of ocean currents, waves, water quality, marine fauna and birds.
The data is critical for the design, construction and operation of offshore wind farms and is accurately measured during campaigns of 12 to 24 months, then processed and transferred to Eolos clients, which are first-level global private developers (Iberdrola, Equinor, Orsted) and other institutions.
MTG weather satellite system aims to save lives, says EUMETSAT chief
European communities and their economies will be the direct beneficiaries of the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) meteorological satellite system, which will begin deploying later this year, according to EUMETSAT’s director-general.
The European Environment Agency estimates that weather and climate-related events caused as much as €520bn (US$550bn) in economic losses in Europe between 1980 and 2020. Up to 145,000 lives were lost over the same period. Most recently, floods from Storm Bernd in the summer of 2021 left more than 180 people dead in Germany and Belgium and caused billions of euros of damage, while the consequences of the record drought and fires in the summer of 2022 will be ongoing.
Impact of Arctic cyclones on ice floes greater than models anticipate
Research led by the University of Washington (UW) has shown that sea ice loss from the strongest Arctic cyclone ever observed was far higher than models had suggested.
Although weather forecasts accurately predicted the storm, which struck northeast of Greenland in January 2022, ice models significantly underestimated its impact on the region’s sea ice.
Although the storm was the strongest Arctic cyclone ever observed poleward of 70° north latitude, the study suggests that existing models underestimate the impact of big waves on ice floes in the Arctic Ocean.
Ed Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, lead author and research assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at the UW, said, “The loss of sea ice in six days was the biggest change we could find in the historical observations since 1979, and the area of ice lost was 30% greater than the previous record.
NCEO heat mapping project to help UK adapt to climate change
The UK’s National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) is collaborating with Ordnance Survey (OS) to use satellite data to monitor and map heat at locations where rising temperatures present the greatest risk.
Backed by the UK Space Agency, the project aims to provide meaningful insights to help policymakers manage impacts from climate change in hot spots across the UK and further afield.
Dr Darren Ghent, NCEO leader and research fellow for land surface temperature, said, “Satellite observations of land surface temperatures and their change are increasingly recognized as being able to provide unique and detailed knowledge to better facilitate the understanding of climate change and thus to inform planning and ‘climate-adaptive’ policies to deal with extreme events such as heatwaves.”
A recent report by OS showed that heat-related disasters have high economic costs, estimated to be between £323m (US$396m) to £9.9bn (US$12bn) per year by the 2050s.
Aspia Space expands team to meet demand for Earth observation data services
Cornwall, UK-based satellite data intelligence provider Aspia Space has announced two new appointments as it expands its team to meet the growing demand for its Earth observation data intelligence service.
Aspia’s ClearSky service provides clients with cloud-free images and data intelligence of the ground to help agriculture companies, insurers and other sectors make more informed decisions.
Co-founder and managing partner Mike Smith joins Aspia Space in a permanent role as director of its AI division. With a background in applying deep learning techniques to astrophysics, Earth observation and medicine, Smith is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and was an Alan Turing Institute Enrichment student.
VIDEO: Vaisala discusses launch of WindCube Scan lidar solution
Exhibiting at Meteorological Technology World Expo 2022 in Paris, Darshan Sathiyanarayanan, R&D engineer, scientific marketing at Vaisala, discusses the launch of the company’s WindCube Scan lidar solution, which includes a more robust exterior, a new scanning head and a laser design to enable an operationally consistent range of up to 10km.
WindCube Scan has been designed to mitigate hazardous conditions by improving wind measurement, situational awareness and mission-critical actionable intelligence. According to Vaisala, the instrument provides increased measurement range and reliability, along with accurate and timely intelligence for meteorology, aviation and wind energy industries.
The scanning head is resistant to harsh weather conditions due to its casing and heated scanner lens features, meaning the lidar can work in humidity, dust, ice, heavy rain and snow.