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Latest Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Stories

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2009-05-05 13:31:02

With ESA's family of Earth observation missions expanding, it makes sense to share operations engineers across satellites and conduct mission control from a combined Dedicated Control Room. The move is increasing efficiency, enhancing effectiveness and generating improved economic returns. Flight control teams operating Envisat and ERS-2 have long worked out of a combined Earth Observation (EO) Dedicated Control Room (DCR) at ESOC, the European Space Operations Centre, enabling spacecraft...

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2009-04-23 10:00:00

A newly initiated campaign marks an important step in preparing for how data from the Sentinel-1 European Radar Observatory will be used for applications such as land-cover mapping and crop management. Sentinel-1 is the first of the five missions that ESA is developing for the GMES initiative. Sentinel-1 is a constellation of two C-band radar satellites that will provide continuous all-weather, day and night imagery for use in a range of diverse services "“ from marine and land...

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2009-04-01 09:46:11

Arctic reindeer herders are facing the challenges of adapting to climate change as a warmer Arctic climate makes it harder for herds to find food and navigate. To help them adapt, the ESA-backed Polar View initiative is providing the herders with satellite-based snow maps. "Snow is of paramount importance for reindeer herding because its quality determines whether reindeer are able to access the pastures that lie beneath it for much of the year," said Anders Oskal, the Director of the...

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2008-12-15 10:47:15

Wind and wave data from ESA's Envisat satellite radar are being used to observe meteorological conditions in the track of the Vendee Globe solo round-the-world yacht race. CLS, a subsidiary of the French Space Agency (CNES), acting through its new radar applications division (formerly the BOOST Technologies Company), is using the race to demonstrate the ability of Envisat radar imagery to operationally observe oceans at high resolution. Based on the trajectory and speed of the boats, CLS is...

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2008-12-02 09:10:00

The Arctic is undergoing rapid transformation due to climate change, pollution and human activity. ESA's ERS and Envisat satellites have been providing satellite data of the region for the last 17 years. These long term data sets in combination with ESA's future missions will be key in implementing the newly adopted European Commission policy called 'The European Union and the Arctic Region'. The policy highlights new opportunities in the region such as the opening up of long-sought...

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2008-11-19 15:42:14

Three leading scientists are making a last-minute appeal to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to support Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) project. The 2bn-euro project is a joint venture between the European Union and European Space Agency, and would establish a comprehensive view of the planet's condition from both satellite and ground-based data.  So far, Britain has only shown tepid support for the venture, despite claims the nation is a world leader...

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2008-06-27 09:49:41

Following the extremely hot weather conditions hitting Europe, Norway experienced its biggest forest fire in the last half century earlier this month. Envisat satellite images were used in the fire's aftermath to get an overview of the damaged area for authorities and insurance companies.Extreme heat, dry conditions and strong winds quickly spread the fire in the cities of Mykland and Froland in the southern county of Aust-Agder, dampening fire-fighters attempts to squelch the blaze. Before...

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2008-05-05 10:25:00

The Earth's oceans play a vital role in the carbon cycle, making it imperative that we understand marine biological activity enough to predict how our planet will react to the extra 25,000 million tons of carbon dioxide humans are pumping into the atmosphere annually.The color of oceanic seawater depends largely on the number of microscopic phytoplankton, marine plants that live in the well-lit surface layer. Just like land-based plants, phytoplankton accumulate carbon dioxide during...

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2008-02-05 13:06:10

The European Environment Agency has finalised an agreement with an ESA-led consortium to provide unparalleled information on air pollution, which contributes to the premature deaths of hundreds of thousands of Europeans annually. Under the agreement, the European Environment Agency (EEA) will use a service, which combines and processes satellite data with surface measurements from 29 European countries to deliver accurate information on air quality daily, to support the implementation of...

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2008-01-24 10:05:23

Ocean surface currents have long been the focus of research due to the role they play in weather, climate and transportation of pollutants, yet essential aspects of these currents remain unknown. By employing a new technique "“ based on the same principle as police speed-measuring radar guns "“ to satellite radar data, scientists can now obtain information necessary to understand better the strength and variability of surface current regimes and their relevance for climate change....


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'