Environmental Measurements For Weather and Climate Resilience

By Tomi Rintanen, Dr. Kevin Petty, Vaisala
12:12 PM, July 13, 2016

In recent years, the need for improved weather and climate data and information has become increasingly evident. As urbanization continues and society becomes increasingly reliant on infrastructure and technology, humankind is more and more vulnerable to the effects of climate change, extreme weather events, and other environmental hazards. The protection of life and property is highly dependent on the availability of accurate, precise data and information. For more than 80 years, Vaisala has addressed the need for quality environmental data and information through numerous scientific and technological advancements, enabling individuals and groups to better diagnose and mitigate the impacts of climate change and high-impact weather.

Analysis and forecasting are vital elements According to the World Meteorological Organization, weather forecasting “is a vital element” needed “in order to meet the food, fodder, fiber, and renewable agri-energy needs of rapidly growing populations.” The World Bank estimates that improved global weather forecasting
would result in increases in productivity worth $ 30 billion per year, as well as reduce asset losses by $ 2 billion per year.

The use of weather monitoring systems and sophisticated storm preparations days in advance enabled Vietnam to minimize the impact of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, allowing it to avoid some of the catastrophic damage that had hit the Philippines. The steps taken by Vietnam, which has been referred to as a development success by the World Bank, protected its citizens and their economic livelihoods. The UN’s resident coordinator for Vietnam, Pratibha Mehta, said the nation’s preparedness “played a key role in minimizing the impact and
number of lives lost.”

Improving weather analysis and forecasting is extremely important in industrialized countries as well. For example, in a 2008 study, it was discovered that having 12 hours warning of a flood in the United States meant that, on average, the amount of damage was reduced by 60 percent. When that warning time was reduced to two hours, the damage reduction fell to 20 percent.

Building capacity for weather monitoring

Vaisala helps its customers to establish weather observation networks and build up capabilities that lead to an enhanced capacity to assess, predict, and prepare for extreme weather. In light of increasing populations – particularly in urban regions – and the growing dependency on complex, integrated infrastructures such
as communication and transportation networks, the need for timely, accurate weather-related data and information is essential in the effort to protect life and property as well as ensure optimal operations across a number of sectors. This is particularly true for developing countries.

Vietnam has continued to evolve its weather-based assets to further mitigate the negative effects of extreme weather events. It uses weather monitoring systems and sophisticated storm preparations to minimize the impact of severe storms, which are common in the country. Recently, Vaisala signed a contract with the National Hydro-Meteorological Service of Vietnam to deliver weather radar and lightning detection networks, as well as software to further improve weather forecasting.

Project start
Contact person
Tomi Rintanen

Project benefit

  • Weather data for the needs in the meteorological, transportation, and energy industries
  • Building capacity for weather monitoring
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  • Vietnamese authorities

Renewable energy sources and climate change mitigation

As nations have pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order for the climate to stay under the limit of 2 degrees Celsius, renewable energy is seen as one of the key transformative technologies to decarbonize the world economy. Making the transition from a carbon-intensive, ever-expanding civilization to a near fossil-fuel-free existence will be one of the greatest technological and economic transformations in the history of the world.

As renewable energy penetration grows, the global energy system will increasingly depend on the weather, not only for electricity demand and stable operations, but also for fuel. Vaisala works with renewable energy customers to help them make profitable, sustainable decisions throughout a renewable energy project’s lifecycle.

Beginning with greenfield development, Vaisala weather models and measurement technologies provide the information required to make sound investment decisions and target the best project locations. Its industry-leading energy-assessment methodology reduces performance risk with accurate estimates of future production, ensuring that the best projects receive financing on favorable terms.

Vaisala’s energy forecasting services provide the accuracy necessary to integrate renewables while reducing curtailment, imbalance penalties, and the need for backup power from fossil fuel sources. Through optimizing the use of renewable energy sources and by carefully assessing the return on renewable energy project investments, Vaisala helps energy companies lessen risk and increase the penetration of renewable energy in a profitable, yet sustainable, way.

Sustainable technologies

Vaisala delivers weather and climatebased products and solutions to meet a wide range of needs in the meteorological, transportation, and energy industries, among others. In addition, Vaisala provides environmental measurement and monitoring capabilities that support industrial applications and the life
sciences sector. Ultimately, Vaisala’s technology and solutions help to safeguard life and property, while enabling critical decision-making that facilitates effective, efficient operations.

Vaisala’s products are inherently nonintrusive, require low energy input, need little servicing, and can be maintained remotely. The common denominator is that by measuring the environment accurately, the outcome is safer, more efficient, reliable, and sustainable operations in any application area. Vaisala technologies and services help to reduce potential impacts on the environment and society. By delivering sustainable technologies, Vaisala aims to reduce its customers’ impacts on the environment and improve the overall efficiency of its customers’ operations. The role of science and technology is essential in developing and delivering sustainable solutions.

Future positive

Vaisala has been improving environmental measurements for weather-sensitive industries as well as controlled environments for 80 years. Throughout that time, Vaisala has maintained its scientific and technological curiosity, which has resulted in novel solutions that help its customers and communities around the world.
In 2015, Vaisala announced its target to become a 100 percent renewable energy powered company by 2020. This will cut the company’s direct greenhouse gas emissions by more than 90 percent.

As the global leader in environmental observations, Vaisala is determined to shape sustainable development across the industries it serves, while still addressing the core needs and requirements of its customers. The first step in this process is leading by example and committing to its own responsible, sustainable development.

About the Authors
Rintanen, Tomi

Tomi Rintanen is Sustainability Manager at Vaisala Oyj, Finland.

Petty, Kevin

Dr. Kevin Petty is Chief Science Officer at Vaisala Oyj


Vaisala is a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement. Building on 80 years of experience, Vaisala provides observations for a better world. We are a reliable partner for customers around the world, offering a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs approximately 1,600 professionals worldwide and is listed on the Nasdaq OMX Helsinki stock exchange. 
Vaisala’s business is conducted by two business areas: Industrial Measurements as well as Weather and Environment. The customers of Weather business include meteorological institutes, airports, roads and railroad, defense, and energy industry. Industrial Business area offers products and services to Life Science customers and chosen applications in various industries. Customers use our fixed and hand held measurement instruments as well as calibration services for temperature, humidity, dewpoint, carbon dioxide, moisture in oil and pressure.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect CSR Manager's editorial policy.
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