Case studies
Early Warning in FAO's ARTEMIS

Postbus 2176
NL-3800 CD Amersfoort

Tel: + 31 (0)33 463 74 33
Fax: + 31 (0)33 463 74 40



Since 1988 an operational monitoring service on environmental and agricultural crop production for Africa and the Middle East is provided by ARTEMIS, a system operated by FAO. ARTEMIS supports with this service e.g. the FAO Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) on food and agriculture, the Desert Locust Plague Prevention Programme and regional and national food security early warning systems in Eastern and Southern Africa (IGAD, SADC). ARTEMIS provides satellite remote sensing information to these services. The system has been operational since 1988, but obviously has its limitations, inherent to the basic data sources. The integration of new remote sensing methods has been a subject of many research activities since the establishment of the FAO-ARTEMIS programme in 1985. A new possibility to further improve ARTEMIS is situated in the integration of soil humidity information produced from the ERS-scatterometer data as well as derived indices. The potential of the ERS-scatterometer in measuring soil moisture content and forecasting of yields has been demonstrated in various projects (e.g. SCATMALI, Beck et al. 1999, SCATYIELD, Beck et al, 2000). In this project, the usefulness of scatterometer data is tested as an addition to the other remotely sensed (Meteosat, NOAA/AVHRR) and ground data in the ARTEMIS system.