up-close look at water

Natural Hazards Alerts

About the meeting

Natural hazards are associated with changes in ocean, land, atmosphere, and ionosphere. The ground, borehole, and satellite observations provide information at spatial and temporal resolution over the globe. Now optical and microwave satellites are capable in providing meteorological and atmospheric parameters at different pressure levels. With the sponsorship of an NSF Convergence Research grant, this virtual international workshop will brainstorm how to use various data available to scientists to develop or continue development on early warning systems that alert people in local communities, through various social and digital media of natural hazards. Early warning systems have already shown that damage to life and property can be minimized.

This workshop will be focused on discussion and sharing. Experts with experience with ground, surface, meteorological and atmospheric data, together with social scientists, NGOs, city planners, and people working with disaster management are invited to discuss the needs and how to reach an affected community with the natural hazards.

Who should attend

We invite participants from all disciplines; however, we encourage participants from atmospheric sciences, ocean sciences, cryospheric sciences, volcanology, tectonics, social scientists, NGOs, city planners, disaster managers, and related fields to attend.

Clouds with multiple strikes of lightning over city

Meeting goals

The overarching goal of this inter-disciplinary workshop is to have a better understanding of interlinked earth systems to develop tools and communication strategies to alert people in the vulnerable areas to find ways to save life and property from natural disasters. The efforts of the scientists, engineers, and social scientists to enhance the health, welfare, and security of people on the planet by ensuring the safety and durability of existing and new infrastructure systems under current and future climate.

Volcano erupting ash on Mount Sinabung, Indonesia

Format and Schedule

The workshop will take place on 24-28 May with two daily time blocks. The first block will be from 7:00 AM – 10:30 AM PT. The second will be from 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM PT. In addition to thirteen discussion-based sessions an opening session will set the stage for the meeting and summary session will wrap up the workshop.

The climate and earth sciences have recently undergone a rapid transformation from a data-poor to a data-rich environment. In particular, massive amount of data about Earth and its environment is now continuously being generated by a large number of Earth observing satellites as well as physics-based earth system models running on large-scale computational platforms. These massive and information-rich datasets in conjunction with state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms offer huge potential for understanding how the Earth’s climate and ecosystem have been changing and how they are being impacted by human actions.

This session will discuss various challenges involved in analyzing these massive data sets as well as opportunities they present for both advancing machines learning as well as our understanding of the impact of human actions and changing climate on the natural environment and human-built infrastructure. All interested are welcome to participate and provide their feedback.

The coastal zone is the area impacted by marine processes, and the ocean is impacted by terrestrial processes. The land-ocean interface is a very complex natural and socio-economic system. The coastal zone is a hotbed for social and economic injustice and is a nature-human coupled system that is fully coupled, and no part should be considered on its own. A better understanding of the impact of climate change on the coastal system provides the scientific community with the ability to predict future pathways of how coastal zone in any given region might develop, given projections of future climate change and possible socio-economic scenarios.

The session will cover the following topics:

• Coastal Hazards and sea level rise
• Coastal subsidence
• Coastal flooding and coastal erosion
• Satellite and ground observations and monitoring
• Use of social media to reach out to coastal community

Dust storms are common in many parts of the world. The dust from the source regions, depending upon the meteorological parameters, travel long distances and considered as the case of border problems. The huge amount of dust storms from Sahara Desert region have affected the eastern and central parts of US. The western parts of US are also affected from the dust storms originated from China and transported through Pacific Ocean.

The session will cover the following topics:

Dust storms
Dust and climate
Dust and Health
Long range transport of dust
Various observing systems in place
Satellite and ground observations available
Warning of dust storms
Use of social media to reach out to people

All interested are welcome to participate in the session and express their opinion, what is needed to alter people about dust storm. 

Recent studies have demonstrated that several natural and anthropogenic processes (e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, severe weather events, and explosions), which are known to generate acoustic and gravity waves in the atmosphere, can cause variations in the Total Electron Content (TEC) in the ionosphere. Thus spatiotemporal TEC observations can be used to characterize these phenomena and monitor their associated hazards. 

Traditionally, TEC observations have been derived from expensive dual-band GNSS receivers; however, recent research has demonstrated that TEC signals can be recovered from single-band receivers. This provides the opportunity to have many receivers (i.e. an array) providing near-real time data in many parts of the globe.

The session will cover the following topics:

Ionospheric perturbations associated with earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami, explosions, chemical blasts, etc.
Physics associated with perturbations of the ionosphere
Satellite and ground based observations
Land-atmospheric-ionospheric coupling
Integrated approaches to monitor TEC

All interested scientists dealing with ground and satellite observations and modeling of ionospheric perturbations are invited to contribute short talks and participate in the discussion on how ionospheric signals can be used to alert about an impending natural hazard.

The energy industries constitute the foundation of the modern societies, providing resources for electric power generation, transportation, space heating, etc. These industries are widely distributed around the world and operate based on the type of energy resource they explore and generate such as oil and natural gas, coal, geothermal, nuclear, wind, solar, and biomass. Energy will increasingly be a challenging frontier for countries around the world because while there is a worldwide movement toward low-carbon energy technologies, the supply of affordable and abundant energy is also critical to economic development and life standards. While exploiting energy sources, there is threat to environment, and poor air quality. Further, the exploitation of energy triggers earthquakes.

The session will deal with impacts of exploration of oil/gas, exploitations of geothermal fields and associated natural hazards such as blowouts, greenhouse gas emissions, oil spills and gas leaks, offshore disasters, and more. 

The frequency and severity of anthropogenically-driven climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather over time, NASA efforts are going on to launch new missions to get high resolution data that will help to develop efforts to ensure forecast of extreme weather, water resources management and likely danger of natural hazards to the community. The use of social media will enhance communication that will help the community to save life of people from the water related natural hazards.

The session will cover the following topics:

Floods and extreme rains
Observing systems (satellite and ground observations)
flash floods warning
Use of social media to alert community

All interested are welcome to participate in this session.

Drought is one of the costliest natural disasters and has profound implications on several aspects associated with socio-economic well-being of the people. Drought normally starts with the precipitation deficit and intensifies due to high temperatures. Meteorological droughts, if persist longer, can translate to agricultural, hydrological, and groundwater droughts. Long-term droughts result in crop failures and depletion of surface and groundwater resources, which can lead to food and water security. Climate change is likely to intensify droughts due to increasing atmospheric water demands. Considering the challenges associated with drought monitoring and prediction, drought management, and climate change impacts on droughts, the proposed session invites submissions on the following topics:

Role of climate variability and climate change on drought
Approaches to monitor drought and provide early warning.
Impacts of droughts on surface and groundwater resources.
Drought and its linkage to food and water security
Sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) prediction of drought
New approaches of drought management
Use of social media for community participation in drought management.

All interested scientists covering all disciplines, policy makers, and NGOs are invited to attend the sessions, participate in the discussion and express their views.

Rainfall, earthquakes, and wildfires are considered as major triggers of landslides, mudslides, and mass movements. It is a general understanding that there is very small or negligible probability of having these three natural disasters together or within a short time interval. However, we have witnessed, in recent years, the large earthquakes followed by extreme precipitation or vice versa that triggered tens of thousands of landslides per event. In many cases, extreme precipitation is followed by wildfires, have caused a significant loss of lives and properties worldwide. In this workshop, case histories of landslides triggered by post-earthquake or post-wildfire rainfall events will be discussed. In the mountainous areas during wintertime, occurrence of earthquakes causes snow avalanches and landslides, due to lack of infrastructure and deployment of ground sensors mountainous areas are not being monitored effectively and the community do not have much information of an event and their life sometime standstill.

The session invites all those who have interest to present or participate in the discussion covering the following topics:

Major landslides in different parts of the world.
Earthquake and rainfall induced landslides.
Satellite and ground observations and monitoring 
Early warning of landslides

Timely communication of natural hazards is paramount to protect people, properties and the environment. Novel methods are providing ways to produce alerts for and receive data from the public. This session will present various communication and alert methods for natural hazards including official early warning systems, community developed networks, mobile technologies, and how monitoring and alert networks use inputs from geospatial technologies. The format will include four short presentations, followed by a moderated panel discussion.  Participation in the discussion is open to everyone, with a particular emphasis on feedback from government, humanitarian, and private sectors.

The hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons effect infrastructures, loss of life and property, air quality, meteorological/atmospheric parameters and ocean ecology. This is ocean related hazards, starts in the ocean and move towards land and cause severe damages. A strong coupling between land-ocean-atmosphere and even ionospheric disturbances are observed.  With the satellite and ground observations on land and ocean and modeling have improved timely forecast of intensity and tracks of tropical storms. This has helped scientists and Government agencies to alert people in the area where landfalls are expected. The session will also be discussed sea level rise and coastal vulnerability.

The sessions will cover the following topics:

Observing systems in ocean
Climate change and sea level rise
Land-ocean-atmosphere-ionosphere coupling
Tracks/intensity forecasts
Alerting community about tropical storms

Various Earth observing systems deployed by global space agencies, organizations and different countries will be discussed in monitoring each component of Earth systems. The session will cover state of art, future missions and also how the data are disseminated to the users for various natural hazards applications.

This session will invite experts to discuss about the space hazards, lightning, power grids and space communication, economic impacts of natural hazards and cope in the emergency situation. Use of satellite and ground observations will be discussed in monitoring of natural hazards and reaching out to the community to issue alert to the community.

Wildfire is a major natural disaster threatening lives and properties under various environmental conditions in different climate regimes across the world. Human activities, such as wildland-urban interfaces and changing climate, increasingly exert stresses on ecosystems exacerbating wildfire danger and impacts.

Both public and private sectors need diagnostic and predictive tools to assess wildfire danger, active-fire and post-fire monitoring, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, impacts on the human system, etc.

This interdisciplinary session will cover a wide range of wildfire-related topics. Some of the leading scientists in the field of wildfires will be invited to cover the following topics of wildfire but not limited to.

Monitoring systems of active forest fire
Assessment of wildfire danger
Forest fire modeling
Post-fire hazards
Air pollution
Emergency response using social media

The session is open to scientists, private companies, NGOs, Fire Agencies, Disaster Centers, etc.

Abstract Submission Policies

Abstract submission deadline: 30 April 11:59 PM EDT

This workshop will be focused on discussion and sharing. Experts with experience with ground, surface, meteorological and atmospheric data, together with social scientists, NGOs, city planners, and people working with disaster management are invited to discuss the needs and how to reach an affected community with the natural hazards. 

By submitting an abstract, you are obligated to give a presentation in the designated manner assigned by the Program Committee. Your submission also grants AGU permission to publish the abstract.

looking through the car window at a flooded road in the rain

Abstract submission guidelines

Abstracts must meet the following guidelines to be considered for the workshop. 
  • Your abstract title should be no more than 300 characters and abstract text must be less than 2000 characters. The character limit includes punctuation, but not spacing.
  • In lieu of adding the names of individual team members, you may reference a research team may be referenced in the 'Title of Team' field during the submission process.
  • You may add one table or image to your submission. If you would like to include multiple images, you must combine the images and save them as one file. We prefer files to be .jpg, however, .png and .gif are also supported file types.
  • Submissions can be submitted and edited at any time up until the abstract submission deadline.


Rain storm over the ocean

Registration is open!

There is no fee to register for the workshop. You must be registered to gain access to the scientific program.
Multiple lightning strikes on a stormy evening behind a city.

Workshop Chair

Ramesh Singh
Chapman University

Steering Committee

Amir Aghakouchak
University of California Irvine

Guido Cervone
Pennsylvania State University

Vineet Gahalaut
NGRI, India

Thomas E. Gill
University of Texas at El Paso

Carolynne Hultquist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

Seung Hee Kim
Chapman University

Vipin Kumar
University of Minnesota

Dylan Mikesell
Boise State University

Vimal Mishra
IIT Gandhinagar

Phu Nguyen
University of California Irvine

Rasoul Sorkhabi
University of Utah

Binod Tiwari

California State University

Robert Weiss
Virginia Tech

Michael J. Willis
University of Colorado, Boulder

Phil Yang
George Mason University