The study, published online Feb. 11 in Environmental Research Letters, is led by Patrick Reed, professor of civil and environmental engineering, in collaboration with researchers at Princeton University and the Aerospace Corporation.
"It's important for us to start thinking as a globe about a serious discussion on flood adaptation, and aiding affected populations to reduce their risks," Reed said. "We want to give people time to evacuate, to make better choices, and to understand their conditions."
In their study, Reed and colleagues showed that even assuming all 10 satellites are working well and perfectly coordinated, rainfall data still has many deficits across the globe, including in areas vulnerable to flood risk. Removing the four satellites that have surpassed their design life dramatically increases these deficits, possibly leading to high-intensity flood events to go unobserved.
The study was not all bad news. Reed and colleagues also demonstrated that replacing as few as two of the four satellites past their design life could help close these gaps considerably....