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Review of FEWS NET biophysical monitoring requirements

June 12, 2009

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.

Publication Year 2009
Title Review of FEWS NET biophysical monitoring requirements
DOI 10.1088/1748-9326/4/2/024009
Authors K. W. Ross, M.E. Brown, James P. Verdin, L. W. Underwood
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Research Letters
Index ID 70208392
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center