As a consequence of the devastating floodwaters in Queensland (Australia), the idea of an improvement in flood forecasting is in the spotlight. Since climate change may result in extreme water-related events (rainstorms, floods and droughts), counting on reliable flood monitoring and forecasting systems is of the utmost importance.
In this respect, observations from the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) on Envisat are being used to get more accurate and reliable information through a project funded by the European Space Agency’s Data User Element and carried out by the Vienna University of Technology in collaboration with the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO). ESA’s radar observations will help to develop methods to monitor and predict the progression of floods.
Besides, operational forecasting is expected to improve significantly by 2013 when ESA’s satellite Sentinel 1 (the first of the five missions being built specifically for the GMES programme) will be launched.