Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Global Monitoring for Environment & Security

The European Commission and European Space Agency are cooperating on this initiative to bring together satellite monitoring systems with improved databases and other information technologies to offer better information on the environment.

I've tried to summarise some of the key points related to the environment from a recent communication about GMES.

GMES will enable stakeholders to monitor all kinds of interesting environmental data: - land cover for prediction and management of floods, forest fires and crop yields, monitoring deforestation, wetlands and other important habitats
- global atmospheric processes and chemistry;
– conditions of the global oceans.

It will also be able to give information on risks associated with fishing, agriculture, industrial activities and maritime transport, including oil spills and ice monitoring.

The areas of GMES that are data and computationally intensive require high performance networks and GRID20-based computing for the essential data mining,
sharing and analysing and visualisation of the results. GEANT might well be the infrastructure used, but I hope that BOINC infrastructures will also be used, as they are cheap and enable public participation in data analysis.

GMES is now regarded as the European contribution to the actions recommended at the World Sustainable Development Summit in Johannesburg. Let's just hope all this environmental data is published openly, so that it's easy for all kinds of people to get access to it. GMES will be operational from 2007.

GMES website
Recent communication on GMES to the European Council and European Parliament (PDF)

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