Operational Space Technology for Global Vegetation Assessment

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  • 1 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Services, Camp Springs, Maryland
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The main goal of global agriculture and the grain sector is to feed 6 billion people. Frequent droughts causing grain shortages, economic disturbances, famine, and losses of life limit the ability to fulfill this goal. To mitigate drought consequences requires a sound early warning system. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has recently developed a new numerical method of drought detection and impact assessment from the NOAA operational environmental satellites. The method was tested during the past eight years, adjusted based on users' responses, validated against conventional data in 20 countries, including all major agricultural producers, and was accepted as a tool for the diagnosis of grain production. Now, drought can be detected 4–6 weeks earlier than before, outlined more accurately, and the impact on grain reduction can be predicted long in advance of harvest, which is most vital for global food security and trade. This paper addresses all these issues and also discusses ENSO impacts on agriculture.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Felix N. Kogan, NOAA/NESDIS, NOAA Science Center, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746. E-mail: fkogan@orbit.nesdis.noaa.gov

The main goal of global agriculture and the grain sector is to feed 6 billion people. Frequent droughts causing grain shortages, economic disturbances, famine, and losses of life limit the ability to fulfill this goal. To mitigate drought consequences requires a sound early warning system. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has recently developed a new numerical method of drought detection and impact assessment from the NOAA operational environmental satellites. The method was tested during the past eight years, adjusted based on users' responses, validated against conventional data in 20 countries, including all major agricultural producers, and was accepted as a tool for the diagnosis of grain production. Now, drought can be detected 4–6 weeks earlier than before, outlined more accurately, and the impact on grain reduction can be predicted long in advance of harvest, which is most vital for global food security and trade. This paper addresses all these issues and also discusses ENSO impacts on agriculture.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Felix N. Kogan, NOAA/NESDIS, NOAA Science Center, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746. E-mail: fkogan@orbit.nesdis.noaa.gov
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