Global rainfall satellites need massive overhaul: Study
A new collaborative study warns that the existing system of space-based rainfall observation satellites requires a serious overhaul.
New York: A new collaborative study warns that the existing system of space-based rainfall observation satellites requires a serious overhaul.
Weather satellites that are constantly working to provide rainfall data, that are key for flood prediction.
But such satellite-based flood prediction has weak points, which could lead to major flooding that catches people by surprise.
Moreover, four of the 10 dedicated rainfall satellites are past their warranty, further increasing risk of disaster.
"It is important for us to start thinking as a globe about a serious discussion on flood adaptation, and aiding affected populations to reduce their risks," said Patrick Reed, professor of civil and environmental engineering from the Cornell University.
"We want to give people time to evacuate, to make better choices, and to understand their conditions," Reed pointed out.
Even assuming all 10 satellites are working well and perfectly coordinated, rainfall data still has many deficits across the globe, including in the areas vulnerable to flood risk, showed the team.
Replacing as few as two of the four satellites past their design life could help close these gaps considerably.
The researchers have called for increased international coordination of satellite replacement.
Broader collaboration is needed to fix the data deficits that are only expected to get worse.
The study is an attempt to quantify the specific consequences of this alarm with respect to rainfall and global flooding.
The study appeared in Environmental Research Letters.