Telespazio UK’s Post-Storm Beach Recovery Project Awarded Funding for UNFCCC COP-26 Demonstration

25 August 2020

Telespazio UK has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Future Earth to understand the patterns of post-storm beach recovery under future climate change scenarios.

Telespazio UK, a subsidiary of Telespazio – a joint venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%) – will spearhead the research along with The Griffith Centre for Coastal Management.

The project will use satellite data from earth observation (Sentinel-1) and ESA Sea State CCI L3 to study a time series of tidelines referenced against observations of storm events and calm conditions to investigate the relationship between wave height and net erosion/accretion. This demonstration is a cost effective approach of addressing critical data gaps around the Gold Coast, historically known to suffer from storms and associated beach erosion.

The desired outcome of the project is to understand erosion/accretion impacts of storm events around the Gold Coast will have the following key benefits,

  1. Synthesises of existing information of the changing state of coasts in terms of risks and future trends.

  2. Provision of insight to coastal management processes to foster resilient communities that can adapt and mitigate the effects of storm events.

  3. Understanding natural hazards and its link to global climate change

“This project explores a societally-relevant application of the ESA Climate Change Initiative data record for sea state that we hope will be of significant interest for decision makers responding to the challenges of climate change at coasts around the globe. The newly-released ESA CCI Sea State dataset provides global significant wave height from satellite altimetry, spanning 1991 to 2018.”

Dr Susanne Mecklenburg, Head of the ESA Climate Office

The project has received support from stakeholders of coastal environments in the UK who are looking to advance their efforts to forecast, prepare and protect the countries’ coastlines against severe storm events.

“Understanding the dynamics of climate change at the land-sea interface and developing adaptation strategies that do not rely on hard engineering represents a significant challenge for coastal towns, cities and communities across the world.  Telespazio recognises the outcome of this research has global applicability in transforming the information insights that future coastal adaptation strategies, and their communities, shall rely upon.”

Andrew Iwanoczko, Head of Geo Information Marketing and Sales at Telespazio UK

The project kicked off at the start of July and will be completed by the end of February 2021 ahead of the conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The research demonstration through the UNFCCC COP-26 conference will be a step towards commercial and operational uptake with an aim to carry out projects globally.

 

“We are very pleased to partner with Telespazio UK on this award; we believe the project can significantly advance our work on analysing climate change impacts on coastlines. Predominant parts of the Gold Coast area are data deficient and could vastly benefit from remote sensing data. We look forward to collaborating with the team from Telespazio UK towards transformative results that will have potential global applicability”

Prf. Rodger Tomlinson, Director of Griffith Centre for Coastal Management

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