Flood Monitoring from Space – ESA’s Sentinel-1

Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan received heavy monsoon rain August 30, 2017. The flood in Karachi due to heavy rains is the continuation of the similar monsoon related flooding crisis in the South East Asia region (India, Bangladesh etc.).The Flood map below is derived (subset of Karachi city ) from European Space Agency (ESA)’s Copernicus Program SENTINEL-1 Synthetic Aperture RADAR (SAR) image acquired on September 01, 2017. The green color in the map shows the flooded region.



The total rainfall derived from satellite data (GPM IMERG) for Karachi from August 29-31, 2017 is shown in Figure below:




Monitoring Billion Tree Planation with Remote Sensing Satellite data

Khyber Pakhtunkhaw (KPK) provincial government in Pakistan, govern by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party launched a reforestation program named “Billion tree Tsunami”, in 2015. Imran Khan, a cricket super star turned politician is the head of PTI party and main driver behind this massive plantation campaign to turn degraded into forested land.  The important aspect of this project is to monitor and identify the growth of these plantation regions. The remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools provides this near-real-time (NRT) information at low cost compared to field campaigns.

The well known method to identify and monitor land surface changes using satellite remote sensing data utilizes a combination of band thresholding and optical indices (such as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index – NDVI) to separate land surface features. Applying this approach to two separate images by a given period of time allows changes in the extent of the area of interest to be identified.  The atmospheric correction to the two images  separated over time, extent of land can be compared. allowing for changes to be identified. this approach will provide an excellent alternative to field level change detection methods in challenging environments across Pakistan. We tested this approach for Bannu forest region (as shown in the Figure 2).  The Figure 1 shows the land cover map of Bannu region for the year 2015.

  Figure 1: Land Cover map of Bannu forest region (credit to ESA CCI)

  Figure 2: Map of Bannu forest region (credit to Billion Tree Tsunami website)

Two Landsat 8 images are used for this study area acquired in June 01, 2013 and June 12, 2017. The Landsat 8 images are freely available from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) “EarthExplorer” (https://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/). The images were converted into surface reflectance before NDVI calculations using a standardised approach ( for detail check  http://landsat.usgs.gov/CDR_LSR.php).



Figure 3: NDVI map of Bannu forest region derived from Landsat 8 image acquired on June 01, 2013.

Figure 4: NDVI map of Bannu forest region derived from Landsat 8 image acquired on June 12, 2017.

Figure 5: NDVI map in KMZ format of Bannu forest region derived from Landsat 8 image acquired on June 01, 2013 shown in google earth.

Figure 6: NDVI map in KMZ format of Bannu forest region derived from Landsat 8 image acquired on June 12, 2017 shown in google earth.

Please contact me for more detail.  email: kshahidk@gmail.com  twitter: @kshahidkOttawa


Catalogue of Climate Data Sources

A catalogue of climate data sources with links. Please feel free to add new links or report for broken links.

Data Type Data Source Link
Climate data (raw) (Global Historical Climate Network: weather station records from around the world, temperature and precipitation) ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v2/
USHCN US. Historical Climate Network ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/
World Monthly Surface Station Climatology http://dss.ucar.edu/datasets/ds570.0/
Antarctic weather stations https://legacy.bas.ac.uk/met/READER/
European weather stations http://eca.knmi.nl/
Italian Meterological Society http://www.zamg.ac.at/cms/de/aktuell
Satellite feeds https://mirador.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/mirador/presentNavigation.pl?tree=project&project=SORCE
Tide Gauges http://www.psmsl.org/
World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) http://wgms.ch/
International Argo Project http://www.argo.net/
International Comphensive Ocean – Atomospheric Dataset http://icoads.noaa.gov/
Aerosol Robotic Network https://aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Climate data (processed) Surface temperature anomalies https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/
Satellite temperatures (MSU) http://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/
Sea surface temperatures ftp://eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/OI-daily-v2/
Stratospheric Temperature http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/
Sea Ice http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/
Radiosondes http://www.univie.ac.at/theoret-met/research/raobcore/
Cloud and radiation products https://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/products/onlineData.html
Sea Level http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
Aerosols http://dataipsl.ipsl.jussieu.fr/AEROCOM/
Greenhouse Gases https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/
Snow Cover http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/index.php
GLIMS Glacier Database http://glims.colorado.edu/glacierdata/
Ocean Heat Content https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/
Ocean CO2 http://cdiac.ornl.gov/oceans/
GCOS Essential Climate Variables https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/gosic
NOAA Climate Indicators https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams
Data Visualization & Analysis GIOVANNI https://giovanni.gsfc.nasa.gov/giovanni/
Climate Explorer http://climexp.knmi.nl/start.cgi?someone@somewhere
IRI/LDEO Climate Data Library http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/
Wood fro trees http://woodfortrees.org/plot/
International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) http://www.ipcc-data.org/maps/
Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium https://www.pacificclimate.org/about-pcic/programs
ClimateWizard http://www.climatewizard.org/
Global Change Master Directory https://gcmd.nasa.gov/
CLIVAR http://www.clivar.org/data/global.php
USA Weather RADAR https://radar.weather.gov/
Canadian Weather RADAR https://weather.gc.ca/radar/index_e.html

Monitoring Arctic Glaciers using Copernicus Sentinel-1 Satellites

ESA’s Climate Change Initiative in Glaciers_CCI Project, a team of researchers are using Copernicus Sentinel-1 SAR data with other optical data to monitor glaciers from space. The Negribreen glacier surge has been captured and shown in the animated gif (credit: ESA)