Natural Disasters from Climate Change
The National Observatory is a Research Center, which consists of three Institutes: the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing, the Institute of Research, Environment and Sustainable Development and the Geodynamic Institute. It manages 670 measuring stations in total, namely 400 meteorological stations, seismographs, accelerometers, GPS stations, telescopes, ionospheric stations, magnetometers, UAV's. There is also significant satellite data collection infrastructure from all types of satellites, either geostatic, polar or low-orbit, and in addition to that, the National Observatory is responsible for the transmission of data to all competent users in Greece and in many international organizations. A comprehensive 14-second early warning and seismic hazard management system is in operation, the “BEYOND” Center, which scans the Greek territory every 5 minutes with satellite imagery to detect natural phenomena or disasters and combines results in cooperation with the meteorological stations that study the intensity and the alternation and locality of the phenomena. Also, the “IRIS” program is in use for forecasting the spread of forest fires. It is a tool that uses the interaction between the meteorological phenomena that enhance the fire and the fire itself in order to forecast the expansion of the fire front, based on a very detailed description of the parameters of the wind. This is feasible due to the great condensation of the country's meteorological stations. An applet “Extrema”, an application about health issues, is also in use, which depending on the user's personalized data - age, health problems etc. – the temperature and the special urban meteorological conditions, will form a message for the user so that he/she be guided to a place that has the appropriate conditions to avoid further deterioration of the user's health. Also, there is the laboratory of atmospheric chemistry, which gives information to the State, on whether there is a danger for the citizens or not after e.g. large fires and moreover it forecasts solar storms. The National Observatory is the Tsunami Service Provider, the Regional Support Office for UNESCO's Spider Program for natural disasters and the EU coordinator for the expansion of the Copernicus program in the Middle East and North Africa. Regarding Climate Change, the National Observatory of Athens with the three Institutes that cover the science of earth, atmosphere and space, has the opportunity to examine the issue from different angles. The characteristic of climate change is the alternation, the locality and the intensity of the phenomena, not the phenomenon itself. Synergies have been developed between the institutes, studies have been carried out and tools have been developed. It manages one of the few meteorological stations in the world that has been operating continuously since the mid-19th century and has projection tools that show how temperatures, rainfall, heat waves, and fires will develop over the next 30 to 60 years. Also, the “Adapt to Clima” Tool has been developed and it calculates which agricultural products will be affected, how they will be affected, and what measures can one take to mitigate the effects on production. Also, the Observatory for Climate Change and Geosciences in Antikythera was established and the “PAGKEA” project has recently launched. The site has been selected because it has zero anthropogenic pollutants and it demonstrates the atmospheric characteristics of the wider area, stable for at least one hundred to one hundred and fifty kilometers away. The magnitude of the practical value of all these scientific tools remains to be seen as the interconnection of stakeholders and the use of research results in policy implementation has to be proven.
Short title:
Innovative services and tools of the National Observatory of Athens for the forecasting, identification, monitoring, recording and management of the results of natural disasters resulting from Climate Change.
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Project leader:
Greek Permanent Committee on Research and Technology (GPCRT)