Earth observation satellites are helping us adapt to a new era of disasters
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Jose. Wildfires driven by Diablo Winds. The Mexico City Earthquake. The summer and fall of 2017 have seen a continuous string of disasters, the likes of which we haven’t seen since…well, 2016. That year the world experienced hurricane Matthew, an earthquake in Japan, wildfires in Canada, and flooding in China, Europe and the southern United States.
We are entering an era when climate-related disasters like wildfires and hurricanes will be more frequent and extreme, and the number of people living in regions prone to disasters of all kinds continues to rise. We are also entering an era of new technologies designed to expand and sharpen the senses, enhancing our ability to anticipate, mitigate, adapt to and recover from disaster. No, this is not science fiction — I am referring to Earth Observation satellites.