Professional review to investigate FEWS NET requirements for Earth observation of precipitation and vegetation

Publication Type  Journal Article
Authors  Kenton W. Ross; Molly E. Brown; James P. Verdin; Lauren W. Underwood
Year  2009
Name of Journal  Environmental Research Letters
Volume  4
Pages  10

The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) provides monitoring and early warning support to decision makers responsible for responding to famine and food insecurity. FEWS NET transforms satellite remote sensing data into rainfall and vegetation information that can be used by these decision makers. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has recently funded activities to enhance remote sensing inputs to FEWS NET. To elicit Earth observation requirements, a professional review questionnaire was disseminated to FEWS NET expert end-users; it focused upon operational requirements to determine additional useful remote sensing data and, subsequently, to assess whether such data would be beneficial as FEWS NET biophysical supplementary inputs. The review was completed by over 40 experts from around the world. Reviewers were asked to evaluate the relative importance of environmental variables and spatio-temporal requirements for Earth science data products, in particular for rainfall and vegetation products. The results showed that spatio-temporal resolution requirements are complex and need to vary according to place, time, and hazard; that high resolution remote sensing products continue to be in demand; and that rainfall and vegetation products are valued as data that provide actionable food security information.

Keywords  10.1088/1748-9326/4/2/024009
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