Infrastructure Upgrade of the Polar-Orbiting Satellite Reception Network

Key findings from the strategic environmental assessment conducted for the infrastructure upgrade of the Polar-Orbiting Satellite Reception Network.

This initiative will upgrade Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Polar Orbiting Satellite Reception Network, ensuring space-based meteorological data continuity for ECCC’s operational weather forecasting and environmental monitoring programs, upon which ECCC’s weather and environmental prediction services and alerts depend.

This upgrade will strengthen ECCC’s capacity to provide authoritative data, information and services to support effective decision-making in an increasingly changing environment. The overall impact of upgrading the infrastructure on the environment will be positive, as it will contribute directly to the following Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) goals:

Effective action on climate change

The initiative gives the Government of Canada an unprecedented, and otherwise unattainable, view of the country from coast-to-coast, from national to local scale, by providing information to warn Canadians of hazardous and severe weather. This will support adaptation decision making thereby contributing to reducing the vulnerability of individuals, communities, regions and economic sectors to the impacts of a changing climate. These observations help understand how the environment is changing and enable decisions to be taken that help keep Canadians safe and protect the environment and critical infrastructure.

Safe and healthy communities

Monitoring services are a key component of the prediction and warning services that are critical to anticipate, manage and adapt to the risks and opportunities created by the increase in intensity and frequency of rapid hazards. Polar-orbiting meteorological satellite data are especially important for weather forecasting and aviation services in the Arctic, where other data sources are limited. Loss of this type of Arctic data would have severe impacts on ECCC’s ability to produce accurate forecasts for this region as well as southern Canada, resulting in risks to safety and security for all Canadians.  

The investments will safeguard essential weather and environmental networks against further degradation and improve data quality and range to support enhanced modelling. This will allow forecasters to predict extreme weather events with greater lead-time, and contribute to the safety of Canadians across the country. Investments will enhance information and service provision to Canadians, including previously underserved or vulnerable communities.

This initiative directly supports the environmentally focused 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 – Climate Action by providing consistent and dependable data to support mission critical weather and environmental prediction services.

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