A look into the future of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service
Authors: Peter Salamon, Jean-Francois Pekel, Peter Spruyt, Marco Broglia, Jesus San Miguel-Ayanz, Andrea Toreti, Thomas Kemper, Alessandra Zampieri, Tom de Groeve (1), Attilio Gambardella (2), Olimpia Imperiali (3)
(1) European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy,
(2) European Commission, DG Defense Industry and Space, Brussels, Belgium
(3) European Commission, DG European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, Brussels, Belgium
Countries feel a growing concern about their increasing vulnerability and exposure to disasters. With climate change, future impacts of weather-related disasters are likely to rise. Efforts at all levels are ongoing to reduce the potential and actual impact of disasters with the Union Civil Protection Mechanism and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction being the most important policy frameworks at European and global level.
The Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS), provides information and analysis for supporting emergency management of different types of disasters, induced by meteo-climate hazards, geophysical hazards, deliberate and accidental man-made threats as well as to humanitarian crises. It covers all phases of the disaster risk management cycle, i.e. prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.
CEMS, which is implemented by the Joint Research Center of the European Commission together with the DG for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and DG for Defense and Space Industry (DEFIS), was one of the first Copernicus services to become operational with the Rapid Mapping, Risk & Recovery Mapping and the European Flood Awareness System components starting its services in 2012. Subsequently, the other components, Validation, European Forest Fire Information System, Global Flood Awareness System and European and Global Drought Observatories were added in the following years.
The evolution of CEMS is intrinsic to its implementation. All CEMS tools are the result of the operational implementation of processes and tools that were initially tested in research programs and projects and rely on extensive user interaction and feedback. As the implementation of CEMS is based on the most advanced knowledge on the fields of modeling and remote sensing, CEMS is bound to be continuously evolving through the implementation of new knowledge in the field, the incorporation of data from new satellite and airborne remote sensing platforms and sensors and by the efficient implementation of highly computing intensive processes in the most advanced data processing platforms. CEMS activities are highly connected to new developments carried out within the JRC, the EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon Europe, creating synergies with other Copernicus services as well as relevant international networks and initiatives.
Two recent examples of CEMS evolution are the new global flood monitoring product and the adding of the new exposure mapping component to the already existing on-demand mapping and early warning and monitoring components. The new global flood monitoring product represents a significant advancement for the continuous monitoring of floods worldwide by immediately processing and analysing all incoming S-1 Interferometric wide swath data in a fully automatic way and making use of the data cube approach enabling a high product timeliness and the implementation of flood mapping algorithms that require data-driven model training. The new exposure mapping component provides highly accurate information derived from satellite and in-situ data on the presence of settlements, its related infrastructure and population which is fundamental to adequately measure the impact of disasters and improve disaster risk management. Further planned evolutions of CEMS include the expansion of the European wildfire information system to the global scale as well as the integration of data from unmanned-manned aerial vehicles as a complementary data source for the rapid mapping of disasters.