Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Geodetic Observations Help Scientists Understand Geohazards and Mitigate Disasters: The GGOS Contribution to GEOSS and an Observing System for Geohazards and Disaster Prevention; Frascati, Italy, 5–6 October 2007

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Abstract

Modern space-geodetic observations have revolutionized our understanding of geohazards, and these observations have a great potential for further scientific discovery and applications, including early warning.

To discuss this, about 50 scientists from the geodetic and geohazards communities took part in a workshop organized by the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) as a contribution to the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Highest-level representatives of space agencies (European Space Agency, NASA, and Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) emphasized the fundamental importance of the geodetic reference frames for satellite missions and Earth observation. Although high, the present accuracy of these reference frames still is a key limitation in quantifying global change processes such as changes in ice sheets and sea level. Improvements of the reference frame are a pivotal step toward a better understanding of these processes and their impact on society. The representative of GEO identified GGOS as a core element in the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), which aims to integrate Earth observations in order to better serve users in a number of societal benefit areas, including disasters.

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