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DISASTERS ROUNDTABLE HAZARDS WATCH: REDUCING THE IMPACTS OF DISASTERS THROUGH IMPROVE D E ARTH OBSE RVATIONS OVERVIEW How can ~ use our ability to observe the Earth's natural s~tems to create a disaster-resilient society and Chat challenges and limits remain in earth observation efforts? This question As explored by a variety of spars and participants at the 9th Disasters Roundtable (DR) workshop entitled Hazards Watch: Reducing Disaster Losses through Improved Earth Observations on October 22, 2003 at the Keck Center of the National Acaderr~es. This topic As chosen by the Disasters Roundtable Steering Cor~ttee to take advantage of the momentum created by a July 3l, 2003 Earth Observation Summit. This United States-hosted ministerial summit of 33 nations plus the European Commission and 21 international orgaruzations As fob to promote the development of integrated comprehensive, coordinated and sustained Earth observation system or s~tems among g~vernm~ts and the international community to understand and amass global en~ronm~tal and econorr~c challenges. The DR workshop As designed to adds the opportunity for Educing disaster losses by making the most of the technologies available through Earth observing systems, which produce hig~yvaTuable information for policy mad and emergency managers. They represent an important tool for providing both cat and lon~-tenn information necessary in decision support and in Aster prevention and rustication. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 .1 ~ - ~ _ _ _ i, , ~ (A J Earth observing technologies have already helpect Improve and actvance the nahonat wading system in the United States and an internationally integrated Earth observing system dEOS) promises similar advances in planning and wading efforts of ah nations. IEOS implementation planning is attempting to chart a course for the next 10 to 20 years that Hit help adds major problems on the planet. INTRODUCTION AND FRAMEWORK What is an Earth Ob~t~on Sew Earth observation refers to measurement and monitoring of the state of the Earth and its processes. An Earth observation system is a system of monitoring networks links to create data and infonnahon for a variety of uses, including the rr~hgahon of natural Asters (Lautenbacher, 2003~. Earth observations are ~ in climate monitoring search and rescue operations, property protection, and as stated above, disaster rr~hgaho~ to narre a few. There are many components of an Earth observahon system such as seismology for earthquake, geodesy for precise rreasurerrent of the Earth's surface and shape, geomagnebsm for solar storms that can damage billions of doDars worth of electrical grids and comrr~nicahons assets, and volcanology for detecting vertical moverrent at the Earth's surface and wading of ~ions. Specific technologies include the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and moor~buo~ for atmospheric profiling and measurerrents. Earth observahons~tems are instrurr~nnng the Earth for improving our l OCR for page 1
Although issues Mated to {E OS are not new, they are now receiving hi~level attention is creating momentum on this subject. This Workshop As designed to take advantage of the morrentumto explore end emphasize the potential {EOS has for disaster reduction. VISION Vice Adr~ral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.), Adrr~nistrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adr~n~stration (NOAA), has been leading the U.S. effort to develop an IF OS. He participated in the )uly2003 ~ one of the first political surr~nits of its kind Lautenbacher delivered the keynote address at this Workshop. Lautenbacher stated that producing a successful {E OS vim take find and cooperation at the political levet The Earth Observation Subunit represents a new phase of cooperation anon" nations. The nations involved sent hi~level representatives to participate, including five cabinet- level secretaries from the United States. Despite current open d~sagreerrents among Arid leaders in some areas, nations Are able to put aside their clifficulties to attend this event. AGED ~~ .... j: ] Figure 1 IS SOURCE: Presented by Greg Withee. Earth Suit Earl. The declaration adopted at the first Earth Observation Summit recognized the need to move forward in the development of Earth observation s~tems, reaffirmed the need for data and infonnation for sound decision-mal OCR for page 1
A~strator of the United States; Director General Achideas Mitsos of the Directorate General for Research of the European Comrrussio~ and Mr. Akio Yuki, Dep~yMin~ster of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) of Japan The group also established a fourth co-chair, from South Africa, to represent the developing country perspective South Africa vim announce their representative in the near future. Lautenbacher acknov]~ that Earth observing system technology is not new, but is an ongping effort begun early in the Space Age that integrates existing science and technology. An {EOSv~ achieve its ma~mpotenti~ if leaders recognize and support its larger multinational and global focus. {E OS encourage multi- and inter-dis~iplinary research and can be a catalyst for earth scientists to work together on a uniting topic. 77~ Value/IEOS. Earth observ~ngs~tems make it possible to monitor the pearl in fug, When not Tong ago Earth monitoring Is geographicadylimited and intermittent. An {E OS carries enonnous rotenti~ to aid in climate extremes research and Depiction flood Itch and waning agriculture, transportation management, and energy managerrent and distribution. COSPA~SARSAT~, a system that rides on Earth observing satellites of several countnes to support search and rescue aided tracking has already assisted in saving over 15,000 lives rld~de since it became operational in 1982 (NOAA' 2003~. Researchers can and have ~1 Earth observing system data for scientific and econorr~c advancerrent, sustainable developrrent, and population growth impact stuches. Natural disasters put 30 to 40 percent of A~ica's $10 trillion economy at Figure 2 The Search and Rescue Satellite A ided Track ing (SARSA TJ system uses NOAA satellites in lozocarth and geostationary orbits to detect and locate aviators, mariners, and lan~based users in distress. SOURCE: NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. Am, ~ risk Due to their use of data gathered by these observation systems, seasonal forecasts are now more accurate and this has had significant effects for agriculture and fishing Earth Obserz~fiam at Work Or Disaster Raw? Hurricane Isabel struck the east coast and adjacent inland areas of the United States in rr~d-September 2003. Earth observations from existing satellite s~tems, combined with advances in science, modeling and data gathering predicted the track of 1 COSPA~SARSAT is an acronym foran international search and rescue system. Cospas is an acronym for the Russian words "Cosmicheskaya Sistyema Poiska Avariynich Sudov," which mean "Space System for the Search of Vessels in Distress."Cosmicheskaya Sistyema Poiska Avariynich Sudov." SARSAT stands for Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking (NOAA, 2003). 3

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Isabel with much greater accuracy than had ever been achieved for previous hurricanes Forecasters Are able to predict There Isabel's land fad point bung be, within a 90 ride range of error, 72 hours before the hurricane struck land. After impact, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, using Earth observing t~hnologres, exarn~ned every square Me of coast affected by Isabel for damages, facilitating speedy repair and recovery, particularly along the hard-hit North Carolina coast. ACHIEVING INTEGRATED EARTH OBSERVATIONS: CURRENT STATUS There are 73 satellites med for Earth observations currently in orbit, thousands of ground level networks, and hunts of airborne information collectors. Terabytes of data are being produced by these instrurmnts every day. Much of this information feeds Rather centers and research laboratories and has proven useful for managing natural disasters (see Table 1~. The challenge for enhancing future capabilities of Earth observations for disaster management is in increase cooperation among international data providers in order to achieve the scale, frequency of measurements, and speect of response, which are r~ui~ to face diverse and ~cutical dimsters (CE OS, 2003~. GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS OF EARTH OBSERVATION SY STEMS FOR DISASTER REDUCTION Salvano Br~ceno heads the Inter-A~ncy Secretariat of the ~$ r Reduction (UN/ISDR). The UN/ISDR is a small inter-agency group assigned the task of helping partners interested in disaster reduction to Work together. It attempts to further the efforts Initiated through the United Nations dming the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (1990- 1999~. The ISDR goals are to Muce risk and vulnerability, to help public authorities cornet to disaster reduction, to advance multi-disciplinary research, to promote the creation and maintenance of disaster resilient comrr~nities, to foster regional outreach programs aid at disaster reduction, and to partner in risk reduction efforts. The ISDR office Arks in conjunction with United Nations task for110 ces advancing civil societies via advocacy, coordination, information management, and education. The United Nations supports space (satellite) applications, i.e., IEOS, for disaster reduction and has action teams aiding in disaster managerrent. Increasing poverty compounded by groveling population concentrations in urban areas cause inch vuInerabilities, especiadyin developing nations. IEOS has the potential to reduce disaster vulnerability and recurring disaster Tosses by providing data for applications that can identify vulnerable populations and areas, thus changing the disaster culture from reaction to prevention and rustication IEOS information van advance both scientific and humanitar' als. (See Rao, 2000 for a specific discussion of how India is using Earth observations for preparedness, rustication, and recovery.) NOAA'S ROLE IN MAKING IEOS HAPPEN Gregory W.lthee, Assistant Adrr~n~strator for Satellite and Infonnation services at the National Oceanic end atmospheric Adr~nistration (NOAA), is the current chair of the G>IM,M,lL:~' ('M I: .~1 Objection city (CE OS). The CEOS encompasses the Worlds government agencies 1 4

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TABLE ~ Cut Capabilities of Earth Observation Satellites for use in Disaster Torrent HAZARD USE OF EO SATELLITES Weather satellites are used extensively for detection and tracking of storms and contribute Hurricanes & effectively to the forecasting capability. Recent satellite missions providing more detailed tornadoes and frequent measurements of sea surface wind speed and tropical rainfall mapping have significant improved forecasts. In-situ and Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites provide valuable information on Volcanic seismic and volcanic activity. EO satellites provide complementary data in support of eruptions disaster mitigation and response: interferometry techniques of radar sensors are used to & monitor fault motions and strain, and signs of Earth surface deformation and topographic earthquakes changes. Very high resolution sensors are used to map damage assessment, direct response efforts, and aid reconstruction planning. Satellite data is the primary information source employed by the 9 Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres operational world-wide which issue volcanic ash cloud warnings, an essential information source for international aviation safety. A number of satellites now contribute routinely to each stage of wildfire hazard Wildfires management world-wide, including: fire risk mapping using land cover and fire fuel assessments, moisture data, digital elevation maps, and meteorological information - all derived from satellite; fire detection and early warning; fire monitoring and mapping; burned area assessment. Oil spills Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data is used as the basis for ocean surveillance systems for oil slick detection, to provide enforcement and monitoring capabilities to deter pollution dumping. The SAR data is processed within 1-2 hours of the satellite overpass and used by pollution control authorities to cue aircraft surveillance. Surveillance systems are currently operational in Norway, and Denmark, and under trial in the Netherlands, Germany, and the UK. SAR data and optical data are also used to develop information in support of major coastal oil spills, to assist in mapping pollution extent and managing the response. Currently, multichannel and multi-sensor data sources from geostationary satellites and polar orbiting satellites are used routinely for determining key monitoring parameters such as: precipitation intensity, amount, and coverage, atmospheric moisture and winds. Instruments with spectral bands capable of measuring vegetative biomass are also used operationally for drought monitoring. The Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) in Africa, for example, exploits operational use of satellite technology to reduce the incidence of famine in sub-Saharan Africa by monitoring the agricultural growing season. Monitoring is carried out through 'greenness maps' derived every 10 days from the AVHRR instrument, and from rainfall estimates. Earth observation satellites are used for the development of flood impact prediction maps, contributing measurements of landscape topography, land use, and surface wetness for use in hydrological models. Weather satellites provide key information on rainfall predictions to assist flood event forecasting. Since optical observations are hampered by the presence of clouds, SAR missions (which can achieve regular observation of the earth's surface, even in the presence of thick cloud cover) are frequently used to provide near real-time data acquisitions in support of flood extent mapping. Drought Floods SOURCE: CEC~3. responsible for civil Earth observation satellite programs, dong With agencies that receive and process data acquit remotely from space. As chair of CE OS, W~thee play an active role in the (I(;C)~. a Trick r~rtnersWn established to orr)vicle an 5

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over-arching strategy for conducting observations Mating to climate and atmosphere, oceans and coasts, the land surface and the Earth's interior. The partners, through IGOS, build upon the strategies of existing international global observing programs, and upon current achieverrents, in sing to improve observing capacity end deliver observations in a cost-effective and tingly fashion (IGOS, 2000~. NOAA advances the ocean and atmospheric part of EROS through its products and services. NOAA's work involves positioning Earth observing satellites and Irking with data consurr~ion centers. Atmospheric scientists, ecologists and env~nrrental scientists, geoscientists, and others attempt to integrate their research aura in order to produce "one story' to the President and the Office of ~nagerrent and Bu. {E OS is if in this comprehensive effort because it facilitates in situ land and ecosystem monitoring volcanic and tsunami waning systems, and a host of other Earth observing activities. W~thee suggested that it Bulk be valuable to introduce disaster managerrent support groups to E OS. {EOS data streams could tee pronto help others adds landslides, earthquake, droughts, volcanoes, ocean storms, and oil spins. W~thee advocated "on demand" satellite tracking and image acquisition in tires of Aster. To demonstrate how {EOS can assist in managing and reducing natural Asters, W~thee described the extensive amount of data and information r~ to fully understand a Aster event such as flooding. Precipitation estates and severe stone index sequences are used for warning' of severe stones such as tornadoes (CE OS, 2003~. A single system cannot provide ah the data necessary to understand the present and future impacts of a Aster event; a] data, including archived data from other s~tems, can aid in response and recovery. W~thee illustrated a case in which an international agreement, the ~ As activated to provide satellite observation of various disasters such as mrthqua~, volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods, ocean storms, and of! spies. {E OS officios win need to understand the r~urerrents of their information users in order to make {E OS work They win ado have to help others increase their ability to use {EO~supplied data in optimum Ad. Sorre of this right be accomplished through the United Nation's World Ak*eorolog~cal Organization. WMO'S EXPERIENCE IN INTEGRATING GLOBAL OBSERVING SYSTEMS AsSecretaty-Generalof the] _ n(WMO),~chel~arrau~presented the WMO's role in an {E OS. The WMO performs extensive global observations in support of climate, hydrological, and meteorological activities. These observations range from in situ sensors to radars and space-bone s~tems. A major goal of the WMO efforts is to integrate these s~tems, which are a major contribution to disaster rustication efforts. Integration includes data collection, ~rld~de free and unrestricted exchange and dissemination of data and products to a wide range of users including g~verr~rents. The goals of the WMO go beyond malting observations. The WMO's ('k,[~..~l (:~ r\~'u~, System MOSS supports forecasting as whit as climate research, and contributes to better risk evaluation and management. GOS enables improved study of disaster-related phenomenon possible. The most obvious benefits of GOS are the safeguarding of life and property through the forecasting detection and vowing of severe Bather phenomena such as local storms, tornadoes, and extratropqcal and ~ 5~. DEMO, 2003~. 6

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GOS provides vertical structure analysis of the atmosphere as v~1 as better monitoring of the Earth's surface. It is made up of observ~ngiacilities at stations on land and at sea, and on aircraft, meteorological satellites and other platforms. These facilities are owed and operated by the 185 member countnes of WMO and international satellite agencies. Aircraft observational data collection is grov~ngq~ckly. Argo, abroad-scale global array of temperature/salinity profiling floats, currently deploy under the responsibility of the ~ comprises about 900 buoys, with a goal of evenly reaching at least 3000. The WMO coordinates several other international programs that contribute to Earth Observations The t:h~ h (GAW), a ~rldmde network of strategically located global, regional and national monitoring stations coordinated by the WMO, monitors atmospheric chemistry including greenhouse gases, aerosols and pollutants. The i@ Rem (WHYCOS) aims to provide a global picture of the hyd~log~cal cycle and to promote global exchange of hydrological data Also, the WMO has a fast expanding space based component of its Global Observation System It integrates data from 3 constellations of satellites (polar orbiting geostationaryas v~31 as research and developrrent env~onrrent satellites). WMO has initiated a major WMO Space Program Which v~1 contribute to a wde range of Aster prevention and rustication activities. WMO's work involves four stages: relieving user r~rerrents, examining existing and planned observation s~tems, conducting critical review to assess capabilities and how successfully fits have been met, end producing guidance for WMO members on sate~it - Mated technological developments as v~1 as on changes in relevant existing rreteorolog~cal and hydrological operation skaters WMO promotes thematic integration of atmospheric climate, oceans and terrestrial data in a constantly evolving manner in order to adapt proactively to a fast changing environment. The following points emerged during the discussion Challen~sin Restart and Do: Continued research on Earth observations is essential to achieve a f~lyintegratedintetnational Earth observation system In order to attain funding for research, it is necessary to educate the public about the societal benefits of the research Eqmprrent costs for Earth observations s~tems consurre a large portion of the total research buds, but program managers work to make it all fit together so that researchers get precisely what they need and research products are disseminated in the best may possible. The recent Summit has helped policymakers around the world recognize the value of expanding their research budgets so their researchers and polic~kers make good use of the myth of information provided to them by the Earth observation s~tem. Questions that need to be addressed in the near future are: How can existing funding tee used more effectively? How can the s~tembe sustainedin the future? How can future observations be attained for the Saran cost as todays observations? IEOS and D~sas~rR~ {E OS has a wide range of applications in disaster reduction; hoover, it is difficult to integrate information across ail needs. Disasters need to transpire in order to demonstrate the ability of {E OS to aid in disaster reduction. Some success stones have been published by WMO and others on how Earth observing system data has aided in climate research 7

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and disaster managerrent. The recently published UN/ISDR demonstrates sores of what has been done using this data "~K' report IDE NTIFYING CRITICAL E ARTH OBSE RVATIONS GAPS AND OPPORTUNITI E S RE LATE D TO DISASTE R RE DUCTION Charles Groat, Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), provided his view on Earth observation s~tems gyps and opportunities. A combination of spatially and temporary diverse s~tems (e.g. archive) in situ, and remote sensing are required to characterize env~nm~tal developrrents that contribute to or affect natural hazards. Such monitoring is conducted for both scientific as v~1 as operational purposes (rr~tigation or post-facto). (A Although many new s~tems have been implemented over the last ten years, one decade is an inadequate ~frarre for folly understanding many of the phenomena under scrutiny. The lack of long-tenn observations is a crucial gap in l OCR for page 1
Dr. Terry Egan, Manager, Mitigation, Analysis & Plans Unit, Errergency ~nagerrent Division, Washington (State) \filita~yDepartr~t, discussed the challenges of applying earth observation date to haze rds in his state. Emergency managers provide pr~disaster alerts and vat nip, coordinate resources in disaster or emergency circumstances, assist in disaster planning assist n disaster exercises, and grant financial aid to localities. In a disaster situation, emergency managers are the center and leaders of mass activity. The more information an emergency manager has to work With, the more prepared the manager vim be to handle the event. Unfortunately, emergency managers are often constrained in Awing Earth observation data because they lack adequate resources Many Vito Work in errergencymana~rrent are not trained to analyze Earth observation data, nor do they have the Am, energy, or funding to integrate observation s~tems into their Work products. Emer~ncyma~s need real time data, him resolution images, true~color imagery, and user-fnendly, site specific data pacl OCR for page 1
make use of EOS supplied information difficult. Before 1999, no national spatial data base on fire and fuels Easter. Today there is ~NDFIRE, a m~ti-agency, inter-disciplinary research and developrrent activity designed to develop a consisted and accurate rrethodolo~r capable of producing geospati~ data of vexation conditions, fire fuels, risks, and ecosystem status at the national, regional, and local scales for implerrentation of the Var~ur,2~ I in Or LANDFIRE may lead to a national fires and fuel database. Hoover, maps are not refined to cabin level. Thirty meter resolution is now to capture building; and structures. Dr. Conard advocates histoncal analysis of fire regimes to exarr~ne the rate of change and flammability changes over Am. LAND SAT images help in identifying habitats of endangers species, zones of invasive species, vegetation changes, and insect population changes. Weather, wind patterns, humidity, and other variables are essential awing fire season. Video from the Fire Consortia for Advanced Mowing of Meteorology and Smoke (Fr~), a coordinated group of regional cooperative centers for hig~resolution simulation modeling of Rather, fire and smoke, Bovine tidy, high resolution data to support prescribed fire planning vegans fire response, and smoke modeling and prediction. Concurrent observations from satellites, planes, and ground sources help map fire pararreters and improve fire behavior models. Earth observations help emergency responders anticipate burn area conditions (e.g. slopes, erosion potential, slides). THE WAY F ORWARD: DE VE L OPING A 10 YE AR PLAN OF INTE GRATE D E ARTH OBSE RVATIONS Helen Wood, Senior Advisor for Satellite S~tems and Service presented an introduction to the closing session. She provided advice for executing a ten-year ptan: Speak out as a comrr~nity. Ask for the ideal data, be Fistic, and ask for the data that is him pnonty. Do not assures that a system win be sustained - make it a r~rerrent. Richard Anthes, President, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), spoke on accelerating the transition from research to operations. More and better observations, improved models With higher resolution, ensemble forecasts, and more pov\RrfuT data assignation rrethods have advanced Rather research and improved forecasts rapidly over the past decade. Increasing numbers of sensors produce terabytes of data day. It is necessary for rnDdels to keep pace With the influx of raw data and transfonn the observations into information because raw~ata alone is Mess to most end users. Combining the many observations from an {EOS to produce analyses and useful infonnation that users van trust, employ and understand, is essential for success. (NRC, 2003a). Anthes outlined the following obstacles to progn~ss when transitional from research to operations in Earth observations: . . Cultural differences been research and operational comrr~nities Organizational and personality issues Inadequate comrr~nication and coordination bed players Inadequate financial or educated human resources 10

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Absence of effective and standing process for pearling and fohow-through Infie~bilityof "the s~tem" to q~cklyinco~porate newideas Inadequate scientific know - or technological capability Anthes suggested that the payoff to surmounting these difficulties is incise, and that an organic mechanism to accelerate the transition of research to operations is needed Dr. Ghassem Asrar, Associate Adninistrator for Earth Science, NASA, spoke on the evolution of the cat set of observing networks. NASA has many earth observing satellites in orbit; some in geostationary orbits and others on polar orbits. These NASA satellites maw it possible to analyze the Earth in a holistic may. Ground-basect in-situ observing network sensors and remote sensing by satellite make it possible for resource managers and business people to better manage resources. Diversity and Quality of observations is important. Strong for better calibration and consistency should be a goal of the EROS. NASA's Earth Science Research Satellite users seek to understand processes; tuxedo not just collect raw~ata or build models. NASA researchers look for pathways from research ~ operational s~tems and recognize that satellites not do the entire job of Earth observation. For this reason, policy~ra~rs rust ret rate ground-based and in situ Earth observation networks. Asrar supports the adoption of standards and protocols regarding data policies. Al Earth observation data producers and consumers should share data The key to success is thinking flexibly. Asrar hopes that the evolution end pervasiveness of {E OS rr~cs that of telecomrr~nications. EROS wig aid in the Auction of natural Centers through: . ocean eddies. Enhanced Ocean Activ~ty~lde Swath remote sensing now makes it possible to treasure Ocean vend surface measurerrents produce a v~ewof the entire globe once every other day. Synoptic observation couples atmospheric chemistry anat~is with climate science research 11

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Figure 3 NA SA Science research satellites in orbit. SOURCE: Presentation by Ghassem Astor. Standards and protocols are areas Ricing the most Movement now- not new systems. Onginal data can be on the order of Petabytes (~0~5), but Ant he cons~ion is on the order of Megabytes (~06~. The ply challenges include, but are not limited to, the foho~g Data policies Mating scope of observations Maintaining and ensuing data City Cost Security Dr. Wham Gait Director, Advanced Programs for Earth Science, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp Is the final spar of the day, presenting a beefing entitled "Curves on the Road to an Integrated Earth Observation S~tem" The justification for {E OS resides in its value as an env~onm~tal treaty compliance monitor, contributions to a wde variety of businesses and commercial ventures, weather and climate forecasting value, decision support value to gets, and the ability to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards. The {EOS is part of a larger env~ronrrental information infrastructure which is facing growing demands from users and an increasing need for coordination and enhancerrent. An {EOS contains roles for the public,povate,and academic sectors. The public sector promotes stewardship and Tong-tenn planning academia promotes creativity and 12

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challenges institutional routines; and the private sector advances efficiency through free market behavior and the profit motive. Gail raised several questions regarding the planning for EOS. Are ~ planning adequately for unanticipated data and infonnation needed for {EOS? W~ policy news in 40+ Yeats be adequately supported by the long-tenn datasets ~ initiate today? Will climate change itself alter what new; to be observed and compel {E OS operators to refashion observing systems? Development of the {EOS should incorporate non-dete~n~stic planning including use of contingencybased and scenario-based planning tools. {E OS users should be sure the s~tems they develop are flexible and arable to evolution. Gail emphasized that {E OS has tremendous potential to shape how to rusticate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from future natural disasters. SUMMI N G UP Dming this workshop, participants discussed and exan~ned how an {EOS ~uld work and now current Earth observations contribute to the rustication of natural disasters. As noted by Ghassem Asrar, for the first time in history we have the scientific exercise and the technological capability to study and understand the underling processes of Earth system change, and to dramatically improve forecasts of natural disasters. These capabilities alone cannot create an integrated system international cooperation is imperative. {E OS Is and leading officials in over 30 nations are Irking together to put forward a plan to implerrent {E OS effectively. The challenges of taking terabytes of data and translating them into practical application v~1 be great, but when {EOS is implerrented the payoffs Dill be in lives saved, in people and property protected, and in significantly better inform management and stewardship of the worlds environment and natural resources. For updates on the current status and future plans of {E OS please see the Earth Observahon S~nnn~t homepage. 13