Drought, Thermal Stress & Fire Risk from JPSS S-NPP

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Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Felix Kogan, NOAA, College Park, MD; and W. Guo

The 21st century has begun with a series of widespread, long and intensive droughts, severe thermal stress and fires around the world. Wide range of resources, economic and societal activities have been affected, especially agriculture, forestry, water, energy, ecosystems and human health. Due to large-scale events such as droughts, thermal stress and wild fires, global society faces shortages of food, losses of lives and depletion of environmental resources every year. Since prediction of these events is a challenging task, their early detection and watch is a very important activity to offset the consequences. Observations from the new generation of satellites called U.S. Joint Polar-orbiting Satellite System (JPSS) are playing important role in these activities because they are designed to provide continues and spatially comprehensive observations, which will exist for 25-30 years and also will provide much better quality of products. The first satellite under this activity called Suomi NPP (S-NPP) was launched in October 2011. The indicated events (drought, thermal stress, fire) are currently monitored with the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor. The obtained data has already indicated an earlier detection of these events, evaluation of their intensity, duration and impacts. These results will be presented in the numerous cases occurred in the past two years, such as the most intensive droughts in the USA and Africa's Sahel, considerable thermal stress affecting human health in Russia and reduction in the number of malaria cases in Asia.