Severe weather, hurricane, typhoon, heatwave, fire, flash flood, pollution, and volcano eruption are among the most destructive, frequent, and costly natural and man-made disasters endured by modern society, and they are expected to increase in severity and frequency that will greatly impact quality of life and commerce, and create long-lasting aftermath to climate change and civilization. Every year new record severe weather, hurricanes, fires, and floods are widely reported. The uncommon is becoming common; the unusual is turning to usual. The toll of these disaster events, in financial costs, displacement of individuals, and loss of properties and lives, are substantial and continue to rise as climate change and human-induced activities generate more extreme weather and environment-related disaster events.
According to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2020) survey (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/). In 2019, there were 14 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included 3 flooding events, 8 severe storm events, 2 tropical cyclone events, and 1 wildfire event. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 44 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. The 1980–2019 annual average is 6.5 events (CPI-adjusted); the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2015–2019) is 13.8 events (CPI-adjusted). That the annual average number of disaster events is on the rise is evident.
Satellite remote sensing byways of operational weather and environment satellite systems onboard Low Earth Orbits (LEOs) and Geostationary Earth Orbits (GEOs) using passive and active optical sensors are fully capable of detecting, quantifying and monitoring the location, intensity, and trend of these type disasters. The so-called “big-three” Earth observation agencies---the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of USA, EUMETSAT of European Union (EU), and China Meteorological Administration (CMA) of China---are routinely operating such weather and environment observing systems continuously and globally.
The disaster management community requires frequently updated and easily accessible information to better understand the extent of the disaster and better coordinate response efforts. With joint international agencies and community coordinated efforts under the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), this special section calls for papers with potential topics including but not limited to the following:
- Remote sensing sensor technology suitable for observing weather and environmental disasters;
- Timely and accurate processing algorithm that can detect, quantify, and monitor disaster events;
- Product fusion and integration to enhance accuracy and provide reliable disaster information;
- Low latency information dissemination mechanism and infrastructure that can meet the challenges of real-time disaster assessment and management;
- Interactive visualization system capable of managing multiple disaster information for real-time decision making;
- Cloud-based service enterprise system for routine operational support;
- The use of satellite direct broadcast receiving and retransmission system to meet low latency information dissemination challenge and
- other innovations that effectively address the evolving needs for monitoring and mitigate all types of disaster events observed from space-based remote sensing vantage points.
In summary, this special section welcomes a broad range of submissions that report operational, research, commercial, and novel approaches for effective use of satellite remote sensing information for disaster monitoring, risk assessment, management, and mitigation.
To submit a manuscript for consideration, please prepare the manuscript according to the journal guidelines and submit the paper via the online submission system (https://jars.msubmit.net). A cover letter indicating that the submission is intended for this special section should be included with the paper. Papers will be peer reviewed in accordance with the journal's established policies and procedures. Peer review will commence immediately upon manuscript submission, with a goal of making a first decision within 6 weeks of manuscript submission. Special sections are opened online once a minimum of four papers have been accepted. Each paper is published as soon as the copyedited and typeset proofs are approved by the author.