Contributions to Research on the Earth’s Environmental Change and Disaster Prevention by Earth Observation Missions

Dr. Takeo Tadono

Plenary Talk 2

In recent years, climate change due to the Earth’s environmental changes has become more and more apparent, and its impact on the scale of weather disasters and extreme weather events has been suggested.

As mentioned by the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2014, the recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems, and continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems [1].

For example, Japan will become “carbon neutral” by 2050, the country has begun to move toward effectively slashing carbon dioxide emissions to zero within the next three decades as declared by the Prime Minister in January 2021. This is not easy to achieve the new 2050 target, revolutionary technological innovations and bold social changes will be crucial. It is also necessary to monitor and assess their impacts objectively and continuously. The Earth observation mission will be able to contribute such assessments.

In Japan, several types of Earth observation satellite missions are currently operating and will operate near future, and they contribute to monitor the Earth’s environment. In the events of natural disasters, satellite remote sensing can be used to quickly acquire site information and apply it to disaster response activities.

In this presentation, the roles of the Earth observation missions for the Earth environmental change studies as well as disaster prevention activities will be introduced especially their related activities in the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan. The current and future missions in JAXA including the series of the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) will be also explained. They will help to consider the future of Earth’s environment as well as human activities.