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Latest Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Stories

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2007-11-15 16:40:55

The world's rivers, lakes, reservoirs and groundwater as well as snow fields and glaciers are the main sources of freshwater to support terrestrial life and human livelihoods. Continuous observations are crucial to manage these water resources for the benefit of mankind and the environment and also to provide crucial forecasting services to prevent water-related disasters such as floods and droughts. These tasks are routinely undertaken by the National Hydrological Services of countries....

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2007-10-26 05:46:04

The International Ice Charting Working Group predicts more marine transportation in the Arctic as sea ice continues to diminish and warns of "significant hazards to navigation," according to a statement released yesterday. The statement was released during a five-day conference held at ESRIN, ESA's Earth Observation Centre in Frascati, Italy, in which operational ice experts from Europe and North America gathered to discuss the state of the polar regions. "In September 2007, the Arctic sea...

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2007-10-03 10:40:00

The ozone hole over Antarctica has shrunk 30 percent as compared to last year's record size. According to measurements made by ESA's Envisat satellite, this year's ozone loss peaked at 27.7 million tonnes, compared to the 2006 record ozone loss of 40 million tonnes. Ozone loss is derived by measuring the area and the depth of the ozone hole. The area of this year's ozone hole "“ where the ozone measures less than 220 Dobson Units "“ is 24.7 million sq km, roughly the size of North...

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2007-09-21 18:57:37

Cleanup and rebuilding teams responding to the devastation across Greece caused by this summer's deadly fires are getting help from space. A series of crisis map products based on satellite acquisitions of affected areas are being provided to aid damage assessment efforts following the activation of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters. More than 60 people were killed and thousands left homeless in the worst forest fires to hit Greece in decades. According to data from ESA's...

2007-08-27 16:16:21

Hot spots across Southeastern Europe from 21 to 26 August have been detected with instruments aboard ESA satellites, which have been continuously surveying fires burning across the Earth's surface for a decade. Working like thermometers in the sky, the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) on ESA's ERS-2 satellite and the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) on ESA's Envisat satellite measure thermal infrared radiation to take the temperature of Earth's land surfaces....

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2007-06-12 11:45:00

Two Belgian explorers currently nearing the end of a staggering 2,000 km trek across the Arctic Ocean were recently guided through hazardous conditions using observations from Envisat, as sea ice in the Lincoln Sea began to break up unexpectedly. Throughout the Arctic Arc expedition, which marks the International Polar Year, Alan Hubert and Dixie Dansercoer have been collecting snow-depth data for ESA's CryoSat-2 mission. As seasoned polar explorers, they are used to dealing with the...

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2007-05-16 07:45:00

The origin and movement of waves reaching up to 11 metres that devastated France's Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean on Saturday evening have been detected with ESA's Envisat satellite. The waves that thrashed the southern port of Saint Pierre, leaving two fishermen missing, causing several piers to collapse and flooding several homes and businesses, originated south of Cape Town, South Africa, and travelled northeast for nearly 4000 km over a period of three days before slamming into...

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2007-02-28 08:48:35

Launched from Kourou in French Guiana on the night of 28 February 2002, ESA's Envisat spacecraft marks its fifth year in space. Having orbited Earth more than 26,000 times, the world's largest and most complex environmental satellite ever launched has travelled a distance of more than 1,000,000,000 kilometres, nearly the equivalent of travelling to Jupiter and back. Generating some 280 Gigabytes of data products daily, Envisat has gathered 500 Terabytes to date. The amount of data returned by...

2007-02-09 14:20:00

Within the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) framework, sustainable management of forests is recognised as an important challenge - one objective that will be addressed with the planned Sentinel-2 mission. As part of the mission's preparatory activities, scientists have been conducting experiments in a mountainous region of the Czech Republic to help design a new procedure for retrieving precise data on the health of spruce forests. Since the spring of 2005,...

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2007-02-01 09:45:00

The most authoritative report on climate change to date will be released tomorrow in Paris, France, and is expected to warn of rising global sea levels and temperatures. Earth observation from space plays an invaluable role in helping scientists advance our understanding of climate change and capability to model its evolution. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) developed the report, "ËœClimate Change 2007', over six years with a panel of 2 500 scientific expert...