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Our Flooded Past and Future: Old Stories, New Technologies and Responses to Future Climate Risks

gilgamesh_flood preparationFloods have wreaked havoc on communities since time immemorial, and play a significant role in the mythologies of disparate cultures, ranging from the Gilgamesh of ancient Babylon to Popol Vuh of the Mesoamerican Mayans. But while floods seem to have been prevalent in humanity’s misty past, they may play an even more prominent role in our future. (more…)

Weather, Satellite Data, and National Security

800px-2013_colorado_floods_natl_guardIf you have not already read Nancy Colleton’s new piece in the Washington Post’s Capitol Weather Gang, “Weather Data: a national security priority,” it’s worth a look. In the piece Colleton, who is President of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, lays out the need for better forecasting and weather data collection capabilities and why this is a matter of national security, especially in the face of a changing climate where extreme weather events are likely to be more frequent and intense. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. (more…)

Hurricane Sandy, Climate Change and National Security Round Up

As Hurricane Sandy rolled into the East Coast, she cut a swathe of destruction that has claimed lives, and crippled some critical infrastructures. She has also stirred up quite a discussion about climate change, resiliency and preparedness, as citizens, policy-makers and thought leaders try to determine how to better prepare for future climate events. (more…)

New CNAS report: “Using Space Technologies for Disaster Response”

Will Rogers at the Center for a New American Security has recently published an interesting policy brief titled “Sentries in the Sky: Using Space Technologies for Disaster Response.” The piece makes a strong case for continuing to support these technologies for disaster response, which will incidentally have national security, environmental and climate co-benefits.  On page four, Will discusses the utility of “altimetry sensors” in assessing sea level rise, which can be a factor in both sudden-onset disasters (such as tsunamis) and slow-onset disasters (such as coral bleaching and salination of water and soils). As Rogers states, data from these sensors “help scientists detect changes in sea level, which can be input into advanced models for everything from forecasting weather to projecting rises in sea level resulting from climate change.” Here’s an excerpt from this section of the brief: (more…)