Monitoring glacial lakes
The Himalayas face the threat of massive Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) resulting from the rapid melting of glaciers due to the impact of global warming.
Twenty glacial lakes in Nepal and 24 glacial lakes in Bhutan have been identified to be facing the threat of outbursts as a result of rise in water levels. Of these, the Imja glacial lake is one of the glacial lakes with the largest storage capacity at an estimated 70 to 80 million m3. If it bursts, it will clearly bring serious damage to the densely populated areas downstream.
PASCO acquired the images of Khumbu Glacier and Imja Glacier around Mt. Everest several times since January 6, 2008 by the synthetic aperture radar satellite "TerraSAR-X".
GLOFs are most dangerous in the monsoon season (June to August) when the temperature of the glacial lake rises. It is necessary to acquire the images during this period, but observation via optical satellite is difficult because the persistent cloudy weather during this season. Therefore observation of actual ground condition using synthetic aperture radar is effective because it can penetrate the cloud.
Local production for local consumption—an energy system that protects and nurtures nature
84% of the town of Mogami-cho, Yamagata Prefecture, is made up of forests. Here, attempts have commenced to reuse wood residues and forest thinning as energy sources, and to supply these for heating and cooling purposes to local comprehensive facilities that have introduced the project.
In order to collect and transport these valuable resources in an efficient manner, the project engages the use of PASCO's geospatial information technology.
"Woody biomass power generation" extracts energy from plants and wood. PASCO is developing a system that makes use of geospatial information technology to simulate how information on the quantity of forest thinning (which serves as fuel) can be obtained, as well as on the selection of appropriate timing and sites for the felling of trees.
PASCO's geospatial information technology and outstanding track record in forest management is useful in establishing a regional circulatory energy system, aimed at the stable and efficient supply of energy.
This initiative was carried out in Mogami-cho, Yamagata Prefecture as a commissioned project under the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). It was implemented as part of the biomass energy regional systematization experimental project ("Wellness Town Mogami" Woody Biomass Energy Regional Cooling and Heating System Experimental Project).