News: NATO continues to adapt to rapid environmental change, 05-May.-2022

The rapid environmental changes resulting from climate change have a direct impact on our common security and call for innovative technological solutions. NATO has launched a new project using Big Earth Datacube Analytics for transnational security and environmental protection. Today (5 May 2022) marked its kick-off, at an event organized at NATO Headquarters in Brussels by the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, with the participation of project stakeholders and experts from Denmark, Germany, Israel and Switzerland.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report released this year highlights that changes in extremes such as heat waves, heavy rainfall, droughts and cyclones tropical, are more and more frequent. Although NATO is not the first responder to every climate change challenge, the Alliance has a role to play in a comprehensive response to climate change. That is why, at the 2021 Brussels Summit, Allies endorsed an Action Plan on Climate Change and Security. In addition, climate change could feature in the next strategic concept to be adopted at the NATO summit in Madrid scheduled for the end of June. A major challenge for the future is to enable continuous monitoring of climate change and to put in place early warning capacities to ensure the safety and protection of our populations.

Cube4EnvSec is a new multi-year project supported by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, which will involve experts from Germany, Israel and Denmark. “With climate change and security being a growing priority for the Alliance, NATO’s SPS program is strengthening its engagement with Allies and partners on this common challenge,” said Dr. Deniz Beten, Senior Advisor for the Alliance. SPS cooperation and partnership. In line with the program’s decades of experience in solving environmental security challenges, Cube4EnvSec will demonstrate how data cubes can contribute agile Big Earth Data insights to observe natural and man-made threats of all kinds, combining ad hoc ground, space and airborne sources. and in real time, with particular emphasis on security aspects. According to Rene Heise of the Climate and Energy Security Section at NATO Headquarters “This new generation of high resolution imagery (1 to 10 cm) will bring greater quality and precision to procedures such as climate change analysis. for airfields in unstable ground (e.g. melting permafrost), flood simulations, port security in the event of sea level rise or landslide risk.

The application of this technology will be demonstrated in a number of cases, such as aviation storm warning and port protection. Attempting to integrate warnings of space weather events will be particularly relevant for areas of the Far North. The project will demonstrate the benefit of spatio-temporal data cubes such as satellite, climate and high dynamic range meteorological/oceanographic (METOC) data offered in ready-to-use analysis. “Our goal is to show the benefits of huge federated space/time data cubes as a particular catalyst for better understanding our planet,” explained Dr. Peter Baumann, one of the co-leads of the project based at Jacobs University of Bremen, Germany.

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