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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 7:09 EDT

Latest MERIS Stories

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2010-05-03 08:36:15

ESA's Envisat has captured the changes in direction of the rapidly-growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as strong winds over the weekend pushed it around and hampered clean-up efforts. In these latest images, the oil spill is visible due east of the Delta National Wildlife Refuge extending into the Gulf. The white dots are oil rigs and ships. Wind can easily spread oil on the water, with the course determined by the wind's direction and speed. Following the explosion of the drilling rig on...

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2010-04-21 12:30:00

The development of the ash plume from Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull volcano between April 17-20 is tracked in this series of Envisat images. On April 17th and 19th, the brown-coloured ash plume is visible travelling in a roughly southeasterly direction over the Atlantic Ocean by the prevailing western air current. By April 20th, much less ash is visible spewing from the volcano. In the latest Envisat image (below) acquired today at 13:36 CEST, even less ash is visible. Envisat has...

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2010-04-01 10:19:38

Despite the hardest winter in the UK for the last 30 years, and the heavy snow-falls of the last few days in Scotland, there are signs from space that spring is finally on its way. Data from Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) are being used to generate daily maps that show exactly how plants are responding to the coming season, marking a significant improvement for 'phenology'. Phenology is the study of how the life-cycles of plants are closely tuned to seasonal change....

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2009-11-10 09:05:00

Aerosols, very small particles suspended in the air, play an important role in the global climate balance and in regulating climate change. They are one of the greatest sources of uncertainty in climate change models. ESA's GlobAerosol project has been making the most of European satellite capabilities to monitor them. Using data from the Along Track Scanning Radiometer-2 on the ERS-2 satellite, the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer and the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer on...

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2009-09-09 10:44:15

As part of the development process for ESA's Sentinel-3 Earth observation mission, remote-sensing experts carried out an extensive experiment campaign across southern Europe this summer. The results provide valuable insight into the imagery the mission will deliver after it is launched in 2013. For all new Earth observation missions, a crucial part of the development process, after defining and designing the instruments, is to assess the future performance of the sensors. In addition, the...

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2009-08-25 07:30:00

ESA's Envisat satellite captures thick clouds of smoke billowing from wildfires that have been raging through Greece and are threatening the capital, Athens. More than 2000 firefighters and soldiers are working to contain the blazes, the worst to hit Greece since 2007 when deadly wildfires raged across the country killing more than 70 people. The wildfires, which began late Friday some 40 km northeast of Athens in the village of Grammatikos, have burned at least 15 000 hectares of land and...

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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...

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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2007-06-07 00:00:00

Sargassum seaweed, famous in nautical lore for entangling ships in its dense floating vegetation, has been detected from space for the first time thanks to an instrument aboard ESA's environmental satellite, Envisat. The ability to monitor Sargassum globally will allow researchers to understand better the primary productivity of the ocean and better predict climate change. Using optical radiance data from the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) aboard Envisat, Dr Jim Gower and...