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How this expert works ahead of the storm

2022-05-11  |   Editor : houxue2018  
Category : News

Abstract

Emergency specialist Rohini Sampoornam Swaminathan uses evolving mapping and remote-sensing technology to see risks like natural disasters before they happen.

Content

Swaminathan is now an emergency specialist at UNICEF’s Risk Analysis and Preparedness division. There, she uses geospatial technology to forecast natural disasters around the world, along with mapping and monitoring other crises like epidemics and political conflicts. As climate change escalates storms and other dangers, work like Swaminathan’s will be key to saving lives: Only when we know where disasters happen can emergency workers plan their response and recovery efforts quickly and efficiently. This information describes some of Rohini Sampoornam Swaminathan's work in response to storm, and the specific interview can be found at the source website below.

The information concludes with a summary of the current status of disaster warning systems in various countries: Early-warning systems, which notify people of incoming natural disasters, are highly demanding. They require monitoring and forecasting risky events, distributing alerts and preparing local responses. But the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Roughly half of all countries currently use such systems. They incorporate sophisticated climate models that include atmospheric and oceanic data sourced from satellites, such as temperature, wind speed and rainfall.

In the U.S., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists conduct real-time radar observations of hurricanes using satellite data and measurements like wind shear, humidity and momentum. They feed these figures into forecast-generating models. The National Hurricane Center can therefore issue forecasts for hurricanes at both 96 hours and 120 hours prior to landfall. In the late 20th century, forecasting measures prevented 66 to 90 percent of U.S. hurricane-related deaths that would’ve occurred without such methods, according to a 2007 Natural Hazards Review study. Just before the 2004 tsunami hit South Asia, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii picked up the preceding earthquake. But officials couldn’t spread warnings widely because most of the affected nations lacked sufficient communication and emergency response systems.

To bridge that gap, the United Nations has conducted disaster-management training programs with developing nations’ governments since the 1990s. These programs instruct officials on the use of geospatial technology to map and estimate the risks of various hazards, including floods, droughts, and earthquakes. Additionally, experts like Rohini Sampoornam Swaminathan have helped monitor such events and disseminate alerts to impacted countries. They begin by scanning through weather data and discussing three-month forecasts with fellow U.N. agencies and other partners. Swaminathan and her colleagues focus on seasonal threats like hurricanes and monsoons. When a hazard approaches, the U.N. sends alerts through subscriber emails and social media. With hurricanes and cyclones, they usually circulate warnings up to seven days beforehand. “Floods are a bit trickier,” Swaminathan says: Reliable global models to predict flash and coastal floods are lacking. Next, U.N. offices around the globe coordinate with local governments. A given country’s U.N. coordinator may convene a disaster relief team composed of U.N. agencies, various non- governmental organizations, and the Red Cross.

Despite ramped-up monitoring and warning efforts, climate change has complicated forecasting due to shifting weather patterns. For one, warming temperatures may continue to worsen tropical cyclones just before they hit land, surprising civilians, and forecasters alike. It will be up to specialists like Swaminathan to navigate an increasingly unpredictable climate.

Sources:

Discover magazine

https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/how-this-expert-works-ahead-of-the-storm .

Provided by the IKCEST Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Service System

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