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Andre Kuipers Serves As World Ambassador For WWF

May 16, 2012
Image Caption: ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers in the European Cupola observatory module on the International Space Station. Andre Kuipers is flight engineer for Expeditions 30 and 31, and performs experiments as part of ESA’s long-duration PromISSe mission. Credits: ESA/NASA

Observing Earth from far above, ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers is acting as a world ambassador for the WWF, which issued its flagship publication the Living Planet Report on May 15.

The Living Planet Report measures changes in biodiversity by tracking 9000 populations of more than 2600 of the world´s species. Andre wrote the foreword to the report and is doing his part to show how fragile our world really is.

We only have one Earth

Andre has been concerned about our planet since his last mission to the International Space Station in 2004. He has been sending us images that show the impact humans are having on our climate.

“We only have one Earth. From up here I can see humanity´s footprint, including forest fires, air pollution and erosion — challenges which are reflected in this edition of the Living Planet Report,” said Andre.

The report illustrates how our demand on natural resources has become unsustainable. By 2050, two out of every three people will live in a city. Humanity requires new and improved ways of managing natural resources.

Andre’s Flickr stream: recording humanity’s presence

Using ESA´s new NightPod camera aid, Andre is taking sharper pictures than ever before of cities at night. Light pollution is a dramatic example of energy that humans waste.

View all of Andre´s images in his Flickr photo stream, or follow the astronaut on Twitter.

Satellites spot invisible effects

The effect we have on our planet extends beyond what is visible to the human eye. To be able to understand and manage human impact better, ESA is providing data from a range of satellites.

Satellites offer the only practical means of monitoring Earth as a whole. Sensitive spaceborne instruments gather precise data to unravel the complexities of our planet and track changes taking place. They have contributed significantly to the information in the Living Planet Report.

Apart from benefitting European research requirements, this also ensures that decision-makers are equipped with the information to tackle the challenges of climate change, secure a sustainable future and respond to natural and human-induced disasters.


Source: ESA



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