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ESA Observing the Earth ESA Observing the Earth

zdroje zpráv:

CryoSat maps ice shelf on the move

13.12.2019 11:00   Filchner-Ronne ice shelf advance 2011–18

It is now almost 10 years since ESA’s CryoSat was launched. Throughout its decade in orbit, this novel satellite, which carries a radar altimeter to measure changes in the height of the world’s ice, has returned a wealth of information about how ice sheets, sea ice and glaciers are responding to climate change. One of the most recent findings from this extraordinary mission shows how it can be used to map changes in the seaward edges of Antarctic ice shelves.

Earth from Space: Gotland Baltic blooms

13.12.2019 10:00   Video: 00:00:00

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, Copernicus Sentinel-2 takes us over the green algae blooms swirling around the Baltic Sea.

See also Baltic blooms to download the image.

Baltic blooms

13.12.2019 10:00   Baltic blooms Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the green algae blooms swirling around the Baltic Sea.

'Algae bloom' is the term used to describe the rapid multiplying of phytoplankton – microscopic marine plants that drift on or near the surface of the sea. The chlorophyll that phytoplankton use for photosynthesis collectively tints the surrounding ocean waters, providing a way of detecting these tiny organisms from space.

In most of the Baltic Sea, there are two annual blooms – the spring bloom and the cyanobacterial (also called blue-green algae) bloom in late summer.  The Baltic Sea faces many serious challenges, including toxic pollutants, deep-water oxygen deficiencies, and toxic blooms of cyanobacteria affecting the ecosystem, aquaculture and tourism.

Cyanobacteria have qualities similar to algae and thrive on phosphorus in the water. High water temperatures and sunny, calm weather often lead to particularly large blooms that pose problems to the ecosystem.

In this image captured on 20 July 2019, the streaks, eddies and whirls of the late summer blooms, mixed by winds and currents, are clearly visible. Without in situ measurements, it is difficult to distinguish the type of algae that covers the sea as many different types of algae grow in these waters.

The highest concentrations of algal blooms are said to occur in the Central Baltic and around the island of Gotland, visible to the left in the image.

Although algal blooms are a natural and essential part of life in the sea, human activity is also said to increase the number of annual blooms. Agricultural and industrial run-off pours fertilisers into the sea, providing additional nutrients algae need to form large blooms.

The bacteria that consume the decaying plants suck oxygen out of the water, creating dead zones where fish cannot survive. Large summer blooms can contain toxic algae that are dangerous for both humans and other animals.

Satellite data can track the growth and spread of harmful algae blooms in order to alert and mitigate against damaging impacts for tourism and fishing industries.

This image is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Earth observation at Space, Security and Defence event

11.12.2019 10:15   States General for Space, Security and Defence event

On 6 December, representatives from ESA, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Italian Space Agency met at the States General for Space, Security and Defence event in Naples, Italy, to discuss upcoming challenges for European industry.

Greenland ice loss much faster than expected

10.12.2019 19:35  

The Greenland ice sheet is losing mass seven times faster than in the 1990s, according to new research. 

Satellites key to '10 Insights in Climate Science' report

6.12.2019 16:04   Bondo landslides, Switzerland

A new easy-to-read guide, ‘10 New Insights in Climate Science’ has been presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, at the COP25 climate conference.

New biomass map to take stock of the world’s carbon

6.12.2019 15:30  

The first of a series of global maps aimed at quantifying change in carbon stored as biomass across the world’s forests and shrublands has been released today by ESA’s Climate Change Initiative at COP25 – the United Nation Climate Change Conference currently taking place in Madrid.

Earth from Space: Mato Grosso

6.12.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:33

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over part of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso deep in the Amazon interior.
See also Mato Grosso, Brazil to download the image.

Mato Grosso, Brazil

6.12.2019 10:00   Mato Grosso, Brazil Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over part of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso deep in the Amazon interior.

This image combines three separate radar images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission taken about two years apart to show change in crops and land cover over time.

Unlike images from satellites carrying optical or ‘camera-like’ instruments, images acquired  with imaging radar are interpreted by studying the intensity of the backscatter radar signal, which is related to the roughness of the ground.

Here, the first image, from 2 May 2015, is picked out in blue; the second, from 16 March 2017, picks out changes in green; and the third from 18 March 2019 in red; areas in grey depict little or no change between 2015 and 2019.

Ironically, Mato Grosso means ‘great woods’, but, as these coloured rectangular shapes portray, much of the tropical forest has been cut down and given over to farming. While this image only shows a small area, Mato Grosso is one of Brazil’s top cattle-producing and crop-producing states, with the main crops including corn, soya and wheat.

However, although the state has one of the highest historical rates of deforestation in Amazonian Brazil, deforestation is slowing and Mato Grosso is now said to be a global leader in climate-change solutions.

As an advanced radar mission, Copernicus Sentinel-1 can image the surface of Earth through cloud and rain and regardless of whether it is day or night. This makes it ideal for monitoring areas that tend to be covered by cloud such as rainforests.

This image is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

35-year data record charts sea temperature change

5.12.2019 17:47   Warming seas

Four trillion satellite measurements, taken over four decades from 1981 to 2018, have been merged to create a continuous global record that will help to understand the science behind Earth’s climate.

A paper published recently in Nature Scientific Data describes how this new dataset of global sea-surface temperature is one of the longest satellite climate data records available. The dataset will play a key role in evaluating global models used to predict how our oceans will influence future climate change.

New 35-year satellite data record charts sea-temperature change

5.12.2019 17:47   Warming seas

Four trillion satellite measurements, taken over four decades from 1981 to 2018, have been merged to create a continuous global record and will help to understand the science behind Earth’s climate.

A paper published recently in Nature Scientific Data describes how this new dataset of global sea-surface temperature is one of the longest satellite climate data records available. The dataset will play a key role in evaluating global models used to predict how our oceans will influence future climate change.

35-year data record charts sea-temperature change

5.12.2019 17:47   Warming seas

Four trillion satellite measurements, taken over four decades from 1981 to 2018, have been merged to create a continuous global record that will help to understand the science behind Earth’s climate.

A paper published recently in Nature Scientific Data describes how this new dataset of global sea-surface temperature is one of the longest satellite climate data records available. The dataset will play a key role in evaluating global models used to predict how our oceans will influence future climate change.

Sentinel-6 Mission

5.12.2019 14:00   Video: 00:05:20

In a cleanroom in Ottobrunn, Germany, the latest Copernicus Sentinel satellite is ready for final testing before it is packed up and shipped to the US for liftoff next year. Designed and built to chart changing sea level, it is the first of two identical Sentinel-6 satellites that will be launched consecutively to continue the time series of sea-level measurements. This new mission builds on heritage from previous ocean topography satellites, including the French–US Topex-Poseidon and Jason missions, previous ESA missions such as the ERS satellites, Envisat and CryoSat, as well as Copernicus Sentinel-3. With millions of people around the world at risk from rising seas, it is essential to continue measuring the changing height of the sea surface so that decision-makers are equipped to take appropriate mitigating action – as is being currently highlighted at the COP-25 Climate Change Conference in Spain.

Sentinel-6: charting sea level

5.12.2019 14:00   Video: 00:05:20

In a cleanroom in Ottobrunn, Germany, the latest Copernicus Sentinel satellite is ready for final testing before it is packed up and shipped to the US for liftoff next year. Designed and built to chart changing sea level, it is the first of two identical Sentinel-6 satellites that will be launched consecutively to continue the time series of sea-level measurements. This new mission builds on heritage from previous ocean topography satellites, including the French–US Topex-Poseidon and Jason missions, previous ESA missions such as the ERS satellites, Envisat and CryoSat, as well as Copernicus Sentinel-3. With millions of people around the world at risk from rising seas, it is essential to continue measuring the changing height of the sea surface so that decision-makers are equipped to take appropriate mitigating action – as is being currently highlighted at the COP-25 Climate Change Conference in Spain.

Green City Watch grabs top prize at Copernicus Masters

5.12.2019 11:20   2019 Copernicus Masters overall winner

Green City Watch won this year’s Copernicus Masters competition in a ceremony held yesterday at the European Space Week in Helsinki, Finland. Using Copernicus Sentinel satellite data, this application combines big data from space with artificial intelligence to measure the quality of green urban spaces.

ESA at COP25

3.12.2019 9:10   COP25 Madrid – Opening Ceremony

The European parliament declared a climate emergency ahead of the latest UN COP25 Climate Change Conference taking place over the next two weeks in Madrid. The 12-day summit will focus on encouraging governments to increase their commitments to combatting climate change. ESA is present highlighting the vital importance of observing our changing world from space and showing how data from satellites play a critical role in underpinning climate policy.

ESA at COP25

3.12.2019 9:10   COP25 Madrid – Opening Ceremony

The European parliament declared a climate emergency ahead of the latest UN COP25 Climate Change Conference taking place over the next two weeks in Madrid. The 12-day summit will focus on encouraging governments to increase their commitments to combatting climate change. ESA is present highlighting the vital importance of observing our changing world from space and showing how data from satellites play a critical role in underpinning climate policy.

New maps of salinity reveal the impact of climate variability on oceans

30.11.2019 14:26   Global sea-surface salinity 2012 and 2017

Since the saltiness of ocean surface waters is a key variable in the climate system, understanding how this changes is important to understanding climate change. Thanks to ESA’s Climate Change Initiative, scientists now have better insight into sea-surface salinity with the most complete global dataset ever produced from space.

ɸ-Sat-2 challenge

30.11.2019 7:22  

ɸ-Sat-2 challenge

Submit your idea for the AI ɸ-Sat-2 mission. Deadline 31 January 2020.

Earth from Space: Lake St. Clair

29.11.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:39

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Lake St. Clair, forming the border between Ontario, Canada to the east, and Michigan, US to the west.

See also Lake St. Clair to download the image.

Lake St. Clair

29.11.2019 10:00   Lake St. Clair Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Lake St. Clair, forming the border between Ontario, Canada to the east, and Michigan, US to the west.

The Saint Clair River is visible at the top of the image and flows southwards, connecting the southern end of Lake Huron with Lake St. Clair, visible in the centre of the image. The river branches into several channels before reaching the lake, creating a seven-mouth delta. Much of the area surrounding the delta is used for agriculture.

The Thames River, visible east of the lake, begins in a swampy area of Ontario, before emptying its muddy waters into Lake St. Clair. Here the murky-coloured waters mix with the turquoise waters from the Saint Clair River, creating this fusion of colour visible in the heart-shaped lake. The waters then exit the lake via the Detroit River.

Lake St. Clair is approximately 40 km long and 40 km wide, with an average depth of around 3 metres. The lake is a popular site for fishing and boating, and more than 100 species of fish inhabit the lake including walleye, rainbow trout and muskellunge.

Detroit, the largest city in Michigan, is visible directly above the Detroit River. The city lies on a relatively flat plain and its extensive network of roads in the city are clearly visible in the image.

Detroit is nicknamed the “motor city” as it was the key hub for American auto-manufacturing for over a century. It was also home to the first mile of concrete highway, the first four-way three-colour traffic light and the world’s first urban freeway.

In this wintery image, captured on 26 March 2019, many of the frozen lakes northwest of the lake can be seen partially frozen over. The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission allows inland bodies of water to be closely monitored.

This image is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Space is key to monitoring ocean acidification

28.11.2019 13:40   SMOS in orbit

This week, the UN World Meteorological Organization announced that concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached yet another high. This ongoing trend is not only heating up the planet, but also affecting the chemical composition of our oceans. Until recently, it has been difficult to monitor ‘ocean acidification’, but scientists are exploring new ways to combine information from different sources, including from ESA’s SMOS mission, to shed new light on this major environmental concern.

Steve over the picket fence

27.11.2019 16:30  

Strange ribbons of purple light that appeared in the sky – known as Steve – became the subject of debate in 2017, as their origins were unbeknown to scientists. Now, photographs of this remarkable phenomena have been studied to understand their exact position in the night sky.

Attica floods

27.11.2019 8:40   Image:

With heavy rain causing flooding and mudslides in both Italy and France this week, parts of Greece have also been affected. The region of Attica, west of Athens, received torrential rain leading to hundreds of houses being flooded – particularly in the beach town of Kineta.

Using images from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, the animation shows the before-and-after of the recent floods from the 24 November. Sediment and mud, caused by the heavy rains, can be seen gushing into the Megara Gulf – stretching 14 km from the coast. Debris, most likely vegetation and rubbish, is visible in brown floating in the waters.

Click here to view the image of the floods at its full 10 m resolution.

The burnt areas surrounding Kineta, following last year’s wildfires, can also be seen in the image. According to Greek media, the downpour led to overturned cars and roads blocked owing to the debris.

The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated to help respond to the flood. The service uses satellite observations to help civil protection authorities and, in cases of disaster, the international humanitarian community, respond to emergencies.

Spain joins Copernicus Sentinel Collaborative Ground Segment

26.11.2019 16:35   Seville, Spain

Today, ESA and Spain’s Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology signed an understanding that will boost Spain’s access to Copernicus Sentinel data. 

Floods in northern Italy

26.11.2019 10:31   Floods in northern Italy Image:

Torrential downpours have battered many parts of Italy this month, with extreme flooding wreaking havoc across northern Italy. The province of Alessandria is said to be one of the worst-affected areas according to Italian media, with around 200 people evacuated and 600 said to be left stranded.  

This multi-temporal image uses two separate images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission on 13 November and 25 November. The flooded areas can be seen depicted in red, the Po River in black, and urban areas in white.

Copernicus Sentinel-1’s radar ability to ‘see’ through clouds and rain, and in darkness, makes it particularly useful for monitoring floods. It can even easily differentiate water bodies, highlighting the difference between the Po River in black, and the extent of the flooding in red.

Around 500 people were evacuated further north in the Aosta Valley, where many roads were closed in fear of potential avalanches. Part of a viaduct serving the A6 motorway near Savona, in the northern region of Liguria, was washed away by a mudslide – leaving a 30 m gap in the road.

Images acquired before and after flooding offer immediate information on the extent of inundation and support assessments of property and environmental damage.

Earlier this month, the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated to help respond to the floods in northeast Italy, where Venice saw record-breaking water levels and the worst flooding in 50 years.

Testing time for MetOp Second Generation

25.11.2019 15:32   MetOp Second Generation

ESA’s ESTEC Test Centre in the Netherlands has completed its initial test campaign for the future of European weather forecasting – MetOp Second Generation.

Earth from Space: Seville

22.11.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:39

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Seville in southern Spain, where ESA's next Ministerial Council will soon take place.

See also Seville, Spain to download the image.

Seville, Spain

22.11.2019 10:00   Seville, Spain Image:

Ahead of next week’s ‘Space19+’ Ministerial Council, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Seville in southern Spain – the destination for this milestone event.

On 27–28 November, Ministers from ESA’s Member States along with Associate Member Slovenia and Cooperating State Canada will meet in Seville for the ESA Council at Ministerial Level Space19+ to discuss future space activities for Europe and the budget of Europe’s space agency for the coming three years. Space19+ is an opportunity to direct Europe’s ‘next generation’ ambitions in space, and address the challenges facing not only the European space sector, but also European society as a whole.

Seville, visible towards the top right of this image, is the capital of Andalusia and the fourth largest city in Spain. An inland port, it lies on the Guadalquivir River and while the original course of the river is visible snaking through the city on the right, we can see where water has also been redirected into a straighter course on the left. At over 650 km long, the Guadalquivir is one of the longest rivers in Spain, extending way beyond the frame of this image. Nevertheless, it can be seen winding its course all the way from the top right of the image, just south of the Sierra Norte mountain range, to the Gulf of Cádiz where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. On route, this major river serves as a source for irrigation – here noticeable in the top right of the image, but mainly to the south of Seville where large green agricultural fields appear in sharp contrast to the surrounding drier brown land.

The Doñana National Park lies on the right bank of the Guadalquivir River, at its estuary on the Atlantic Ocean. One of Europe's most important wetland reserves, the park is an area of marsh, shallow streams and sand dunes, and an important site for endangered and migrating birds.

Copernicus Sentinel-2 is a two-satellite mission. Each satellite carries a high-resolution camera that images Earth’s surface in 13 spectral bands. Data from Copernicus Sentinel-2 are used to monitor changes in land cover, agriculture, and coastal and inland waters.

This image, captured on 21 June 2019, is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Smoke in New South Wales

21.11.2019 17:00   Smoke in New South Wales Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission captured the plumes of smoke from the bushfires in Australia. The recent blazes triggered a ‘hazardous’ air quality warning for Sydney – the highest level on Australia’s Air Quality Index.

In this image, captured on 21 November 2019 at 00:02 GMT (11:02 local time), smoke from the Gospers Mountain bushfires, northwest of Sydney, can be seen drifting southwards. Residents with respiratory conditions were advised by authorities to stay indoors, as over 50 people have been treated owing to complications from the smoke.

According to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, as of 21:00 local time, there were over 60 bush and grass fires burning in New South Wales, of which over 20 still need to be contained. In Victoria, another 60 blazes are burning – although the exact number is unknown as new fires have been sparked by recent lightning.

Hundreds of bushfires have been burning this month in Australia, with the greatest damage seen in New South Wales and Queensland.

French earthquake fault mapped

17.11.2019 13:18   French earthquake interferogram

This week, southeast France was hit by a magnitude 5 earthquake with tremors felt between Lyon and Montélimar. The Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar mission has been used to map the way the ground shifted as a result of the quake.

Sea-level monitoring satellite on show

15.11.2019 14:00   Copernicus Sentinel-6 on display

Media representatives and mission partners gathered today in Germany to see a new satellite, which will take the lead in charting sea-level change, before it undergoes final testing and is packed up for shipment to the US for lift-off next year.

Earth from Space: Lake Tai

15.11.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:45

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the third largest freshwater lake in China.

See also Lake Tai, China to download the image.

Earth from Space: Lake Tai

15.11.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:45

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes usoverthe third largest freshwater lake in China.

See also Lake Tai, China to download the image.

Lake Tai, China

15.11.2019 10:00   Lake Tai, China Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Lake Tai, the third largest freshwater lake in China. The lake, also known as Lake Taihu, is located in the Jiangsu province and is approximately 70 km long and 60 km wide, with an average water depth of approximately 2 metres. The lake discharges its waters through Wusong, Liu, Huangpu and several other rivers.

The Tai Basin is a very developed region in China, and includes the megacities Suzhou, visible east of the lake, Wuxi, visible north of the lake, and the nearby Shanghai. Over the past decades, rapid urbanisation, population growth and excessive fish farming have resulted in eutrophication – where the lake becomes enriched with minerals and nutrients.

The increase of nutrients deteriorate the water quality of the lake causing toxic algae blooms to form on the lake’s surface – threatening the quality for millions of people who depend on the lake as a source of drinking water.

In 2007, the algal blooms were so severe that the outbreak was declared a health emergency. Water supplies to Wuxi were suspended, leaving two million residents without drinking water for several weeks.

In this image captured on 24 May 2019, the algae-infested waters are clearly visible.

Algae blooms have been reported in the lake since the 1980s. Many attempts have been made to salvage the water quality of the lake including removal of the algae, closing chemical and manufacturing plants near Tai and stricter water treatment regulations.

However, the lake remains to be highly polluted. Agriculture, sewage and manufacturing still affect the lake’s waters – overloading it with nutrients.  

Sentinel-2 is a two-satellite mission to supply the coverage and data delivery needed for Europe’s Copernicus programme. The mission’s frequent revisits over the same area and high spatial resolution allow changes in inland water bodies to be closely monitored.

This image is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

ɸ-Sat-2 challenge

14.11.2019 16:22  

ɸ-Sat-2 challenge

Submit your idea for the AI ɸ-Sat-2 mission. Deadline 15 January 2020.

ɸ-Sat-2 challenge

14.11.2019 16:22  

ɸ-Sat-2 challenge

Submit your idea for the AI ɸ-Sat-2 mission. Deadline 15 January 2020.

Bushfires rage in Australia

13.11.2019 15:30   Bushfires rage in Australia Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission captured the multiple bushfires burning across Australia’s east coast. Around 150 fires are still burning in New South Wales and Queensland, with hot and dry conditions accompanied with strong winds, said to be spreading the fires.

In this image captured on 12 November 2019 at 23:15 UTC (13 November 09:15 local time), the fires burning near the coast are visible. Plumes of smoke can be seen drifting east over the Tasman Sea. Hazardous air quality owing to the smoke haze has reached the cities of Sydney and Brisbane and is affecting residents, the Australian Environmental Department has warned.

Hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed, and many residents evacuated. Flame retardant was dropped in some of Sydney’s suburbs as bushfires approached the city centre. Firefighters continue to keep the blazes under control.

The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated to help respond to the fires. The service uses satellite observations to help civil protection authorities and, in cases of disaster, the international humanitarian community, respond to emergencies.

Quantifying and monitoring fires is fundamental for the ongoing study of climate, as they have a significant impact on global atmospheric emissions. Data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas shows that there were almost five times as many wildfires in August 2019 compared to August 2018.

Bushfires rage in Australia

13.11.2019 15:30   Bushfires rage in Australia Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission captured the multiple bushfires burning across Australia’s east coast. Around 150 fires are still burning in New South Wales and Queensland, with hot and dry conditions accompanied with strong winds, said to be spreading the fires.

In this image, captured on 12 November 2019 at 23:15 UTC (13 November 09:15 local time), the fires burning near the coast are visible. Plumes of smoke can be seen drifting east over the Tasman Sea. Hazardous air quality owing to the smoke haze has reached the cities of Sydney and Brisbane and is affecting residents, the Australian Environmental Department has warned.

Hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed, and many residents evacuated. Flame retardant was dropped in some of Sydney’s suburbs as bushfires approached the city centre. Firefighters continue to keep the blazes under control.

The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated to help respond to the fires. The service uses satellite observations to help civil protection authorities and, in cases of disaster, the international humanitarian community, respond to emergencies.

Quantifying and monitoring fires is fundamental for the ongoing study of climate, as they have a significant impact on global atmospheric emissions. Data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas shows that there were almost five times as many wildfires in August 2019 compared to August 2018.

Bushfires rage in Australia

13.11.2019 15:30   Bushfires rage in Australia Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission captured the multiple bushfires burning across Australia’s east coast. Around 150 fires are still burning in New South Wales and Queensland, with hot and dry conditions accompanied with strong winds, said to be spreading the fires.

In this image, captured on 12 November 2019 at 23:15 UTC (13 November 09:15 local time), the fires burning near the coast are visible. Plumes of smoke can be seen drifting east over the Tasman Sea. Hazardous air quality owing to the smoke haze has reached the cities of Sydney and Brisbane and is affecting residents, the Australian Environmental Department has warned.

Hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed, and many residents evacuated. Flame retardant was dropped in some of Sydney’s suburbs as bushfires approached the city centre. Firefighters continue to keep the blazes under control.

The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated to help respond to the fires. The service uses satellite observations to help civil protection authorities and, in cases of disaster, the international humanitarian community, respond to emergencies.

Quantifying and monitoring fires is fundamental for the ongoing study of climate, as they have a significant impact on global atmospheric emissions. Data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas shows that there were almost five times as many wildfires in August 2019 compared to August 2018.

Improving new Aeolus wind data for forecasts

12.11.2019 17:09   Understanding Earth’s winds

Tests carried out show that new wind profile observations from ESA’s Aeolus satellite significantly improves weather forecasts – particularly in the southern hemisphere and the tropics.

Improving new Aeolus wind data for forecasts

12.11.2019 17:09   Understanding Earth’s winds

Tests carried out show that new wind profile observations from ESA’s Aeolus satellite significantly improve weather forecasts – particularly in the southern hemisphere and the tropics.

Earth from Space: Holbox Island

8.11.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:41

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Holbox Island, off the Quintana Roo coast of Mexico.

See also Holbox Island, Mexico to download the image.

Holbox Island, Mexico

8.11.2019 10:00   Holbox Island, Mexico Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Holbox Island, off the Quintana Roo coast of Mexico. The island is separated from mainland Mexico by a shallow lagoon. This false-colour image has been processed in a way that highlights vegetation in bright red.

Holbox Island is around 40 km long and only approximately 1.5 km wide. The island is located within the Yum Balam Flora and Fauna Protection Area, established in 1994.

Encompassing more than 150 000 hectares, Yum Balam is home to several endangered species including jaguars, crocodiles and monkeys. The waters of Yum Balam are rich fishing areas and also home to whale sharks, over 400 species of bird, and over 70 different species of reptiles and amphibians.

This summer, a large quantity of the brown seaweed known as Sargassum washed up on the shores of Mexico. The brown algae is an important habitat for many species, yet when it collects along coastlines it rots and produces a pungent smell – causing havoc for  both the environment and  tourist industry.

In this image, captured on 6 July 2019, the Sargassum floating in the sea can be seen in bright red.

From 24 to 26 October, the first ever Sargassum International Conference took place in Guadeloupe where organisations and companies came together to discuss seaweed monitoring to find solutions to the massive increase being washed up in coastal communities.

Earth observation data are important in monitoring Sargassum, as the data can help local services and organisations monitor blooms at sea, and forecast when they are likely to arrive on shore, allowing local communities to act and plan accordingly.

As part of ESA’s Earth Observation Science for Society initiative, ESA joined forces with CLS-NovaBlue Environment, to monitor floating Sargassum in the Caribbean area using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 missions.  

This image is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Ozone hole set to close

8.11.2019 8:50   Ozone hole set to close

The size of the ozone hole fluctuates – usually forming each year in August, with its peak in October, before finally closing in late November or December. Not only will the hole close earlier than usual in 2019, but it is also the smallest it has been in 30 years owing to unusual atmospheric conditions.

Earth images in vogue

7.11.2019 13:51   Earth images in vogue Image:

Images of Earth from space meet fashion this week as Vogue magazine features the ‘Fragility and Beauty’ exhibition in Milan, Italy. Through several satellite images, the Italian online edition of Vogue highlights how the exhibition creates a link between scientific research, space technology and art, focusing on the theme of climate change and sustainable development.

Organised by ESA and the Italian Space Agency and inaugurated in May this year, the ‘Fragility and Beauty’ exhibition can be seen at the Italian National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan.

This image of northern Serbia is just one of the many beautiful images from space included in the exhibition.

Originally featured on ESA’s Earth from Space video programme, this particular image was taken by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on 28 August 2016.  It is a false-colour image, and apart from being beautiful, the different colours indicate varying vegetative states. For example, yellowish patches indicate soil or freshly ploughed land, while shades of blue (primarily in the lower left) indicate either the same crop or different crops at a similar stage of growth.

The two Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites each carry an instrument that has 13 spectral bands, designed to provide images that can be used to distinguish between different crop types as well as data on numerous plant features, such as active chlorophyll content and leaf water content, all of which are essential to accurately monitor plant growth.

This kind of information helps informed decisions to be made, whether they are about deciding how much water or fertiliser is needed for a maximum harvest or for forming strategies to address climate change.

Revealing interior temperature of Antarctic ice sheet

4.11.2019 10:20   Antarctica

As ESA’s SMOS satellite celebrates 10 years in orbit, yet another result has been added to its list of successes. This remarkable satellite mission has shown that it can be used to measure how the temperature of the Antarctic ice sheet changes with depth – and it’s much warmer deep down.

Earth from Space: Halloween crack

1.11.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:57

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over cracks in the Brunt ice shelf, which lies in the Weddell Sea sector of Antarctica.

See also Halloween crack to download the image.

Halloween crack

1.11.2019 10:00   Cracks in the Brunt ice shelf, Antarctica Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over cracks in the Brunt ice shelf, which lies in the Weddell Sea sector of Antarctica.

Using radar images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, the animation shows the evolution of two ice fractures from September 2016 until mid-October 2019. The large chasm running northwards is called Chasm 1, while the split extending eastwards is referred to as the Halloween Crack.

First spotted on 31 October 2016, the Halloween crack runs from an area known as McDonald Ice Rumples – which is where the underside of the floating ice sheet is grounded on the shallow seabed. This pinning point slows the flow of ice and crumples the ice surface into waves.

Chasm 1 on the other hand has been in place for over 25 years. It was previously stable for many years, but in 2012, it was noticed that the dormant crack started extending northwards.

Now, Chasm 1 and Halloween crack are only separated by a few kilometres. When they meet, an iceberg about the size of Greater London will break off. The two lengthening fractures have been set to intersect for years – it’s only a matter of time for the two to meet.

The Brunt shelf has been monitored by glaciologists for decades and is constantly changing. Early maps from the 1970s indicate that the ice shelf used to be a mass of small icebergs welded together by sea ice.

Calving is a natural process of the life cycle of ice shelves. Although the iceberg is of a considerable size, it will not be the largest of icebergs to calve in Antarctica. In 2017, a chunk of Larsen C broke off spawning one of the largest icebergs on record and changing the outline of the Antarctic Peninsula. 

Ice shelf movement is very unpredictable. Routine monitoring from satellites offer unprecedented views of events happening in remote regions, and show how ice shelves are responding to changes in ice dynamics, air and ocean temperatures.

As an advanced radar mission, Copernicus Sentinel-1 can image the surface of Earth through cloud and rain and regardless of whether it is day or night. This makes it an ideal mission for monitoring the polar regions, which are in darkness during the winter months and for monitoring tropical forests, which are typically shrouded by cloud.

This image is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

SMOS 10 years in orbit

31.10.2019 10:00   Video: 00:04:57

SMOS has been in orbit for a decade. This remarkable satellite has not only exceeded its planned life in orbit, but also surpassed its original scientific goals. It was designed to deliver data on soil moisture and ocean salinity which are both crucial components of Earth’s water cycle. By consistently mapping these variables, SMOS is not only advancing our understanding of the water cycle and the exchange processes between Earth’s surface and the atmosphere, but is also helping to improve weather forecasts and contributing to climate research as well as contributing to a growing number of practical everyday applications.

SMOS 10 years in orbit

31.10.2019 10:00   Video: 00:04:57

SMOS has been in orbit for a decade. This remarkable satellite has not only exceeded its planned life in orbit, but also surpassed its original scientific goals. It was designed to deliver data on soil moisture and ocean salinity which are both crucial components of Earth’s water cycle. By consistently mapping these variables, SMOS is not only advancing our understanding of the water cycle and the exchange processes between Earth’s surface and the atmosphere, but is also helping to improve weather forecasts and contributing to climate research as well as contributing to a growing number of practical everyday applications.

Tracking Typhoon Hagibis from space

29.10.2019 15:00   Floods northeast of Tokyo captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1

Hagibis was the biggest typhoon to hit Japan in decades. With extreme events like this likely to increase in number and in severity as a consequence of climate change, satellites are playing an increasingly important role in understanding and tracking huge storms.

Contract seals deal for Biomass satellite’s ride into space

28.10.2019 9:52   Forests key to climate fight

Today, ESA and Arianespace signed a contract that secures the launch of the Earth Explorer Biomass satellite. With liftoff scheduled for 2022 on a Vega launch vehicle from French Guiana, this new mission is another step closer to mapping the amount of carbon stored in forests and how it changes over time though deforestation, for example.

Is Earth on fire?

25.10.2019 10:35   Fires around the world

Wildfires have been making headlines again this month, with multiple fires burning in Lebanon and California, but these are just some of the many fires 2019 has seen. Fires in the Amazon sparked a global outcry this summer, but fires have also been blazing in the Arctic, France, Greece, Indonesia as well as many other areas in the world.

Earth from Space: Leelanau Peninsula

25.10.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:51

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 missiontakes us over the Leelanau Peninsula on the northwest coast of Northern Michigan, US.

See also Leelanau Peninsula, US to download the image.

Earth from Space: Leelanau Peninsula

25.10.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:51

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 missiontakes us over the Leelanau Peninsula on the northwest coast of Northern Michigan, US.

See also Leelanau Peninsula, US to download the image.

Leelanau Peninsula, US

25.10.2019 10:00   Leelanau Peninsula, US Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Leelanau Peninsula on the northwest coast of Northern Michigan, US.

The region is shaped by rolling hills, large inland lakes shaped by glaciers around 20 000 years ago which form the basis for great farmland. The body of water that surrounds the peninsula is Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the US.

In the image, the bright turquoise in the water shows sediments, algae and chlorophyll in the shallower waters along the shore. The greener colours visible in Lake Leelanau to the north, Platte Lake to the west, and several inland bodies of water are due to a combination of a high chlorophyll and plant content.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore extend for around 55 km along the coast of the peninsula, and is visible in light brown. The name comes from an Ojibwa legend in which a mother bear and her two cubs swim across the lake trying to escape a forest fire. The two cubs are said to have disappeared in the process, and the mother bear waited for weeks for them to re-surface before finally falling asleep and never waking. Touched by her suffering, a powerful spirit is said to have covered her with sand, and raised the two cubs above the water, creating the North and South Manitou islands, visible north of the peninsula.

A more realistic explanation of the creation of the Sleeping Bear Dunes is geology. During the last Ice Age, glaciers spread southwards from Canada burying this area under sheets of ice. During the process, piles of sand and rock were deposited in the area. When the ice retreated and melted, it left the hilly terrain that exists along the lake today. The area is popular for hiking and climbing.

This image, which was captured on 18 October 2018, is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

D28 iceberg takes a turn

22.10.2019 14:28   D28 iceberg Image:

Earlier this month, the D28 iceberg was spotted breaking off from the Amery Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The iceberg, which is around 1600 sq km – about the size of Greater London – has now taken a 90 degree turn.

Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, this multitemporal false-colour image shows the before and after location of the iceberg produced by this calving event. Blue shows the iceberg before separation, taken on 20 September, while the red is where the iceberg was on 19 October after calving. Small red fragments of the iceberg can be seen floating in the vicinity of D28.

Approximately 30 km wide and 60 km long, and with a thickness exceeding 200 m, the iceberg is estimated to contain over 300 billion tonnes of ice.

Emerging cracks in the Pine Island Glacier

18.10.2019 15:15   Cracked: Pine Island Glacier

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites have revealed new cracks, or rifts, in the Pine Island Glacier – one of the primary ice arteries in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The two large rifts were first spotted in early 2019 and have each rapidly grown to approximately 20 km in length. 

Korean Peninsula

18.10.2019 10:05  
Earth observation image of the week: Copernicus Sentinel-3 takes us over the Korean Peninsula

Earth from Space

18.10.2019 10:05  
In this week's edition, discover the Korean Peninsula with Copernicus Sentinel-3

Earth from Space: Korean Peninsula

18.10.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:23

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission takes us over the Korean Peninsula in East Asia.

See also Korean Peninsula to download the image.

Korean Peninsula

18.10.2019 10:00   Korean Peninsula Image:

The Korean Peninsula in East Asia can be seen in this image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission. The peninsula is over 900 km long and is located between the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, to the east and the Yellow Sea to the west.

The peninsula is divided into two countries – the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

North Korea is divided into nine provinces, with Pyongyang as the capital. Pyongyang, which can be seen in light grey in the upper left of the image, lies on the banks of the Taedong River and on a flat plain about 50 km inland from the Korea Bay.

The capital of South Korea is Seoul, which is in the northwest of the country, slightly inland and around 50 km south of the North Korean border.

As the image shows, the Korean peninsula is mostly mountainous and rocky, making less than 20% of the land suitable for farming.

The Yellow Sea owes its name to the silt-laden waters from the Chinese rivers that empty into it. It is also one of the largest shallow areas of continental shelf in the world with an average depth of around 50 m.

The waters off the coast of Korea are considered among the best in the world for fishing. The warm and cold currents attract a wide variety of species and the numerous islands, inlets and reefs provide excellent fishing grounds.

Sentinel-3 is a two-satellite mission to supply the coverage and data delivery needed for Europe’s Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. Each satellite’s instrument package includes an optical sensor to monitor changes in the colour of Earth’s surfaces. It can be used, for example, to monitor ocean biology and water quality.

This image, which was captured on 21 May 2019, is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Earth from Space: Korean Peninsula

18.10.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:23

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission takes us over the Korean Peninsula in East Asia.

See also Korean Peninsula to download the image.

Ice shelf Getz smaller

17.10.2019 10:36  
Using images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, this animation shows the B47 iceberg breaking off from the Getz Ice Shelf in West Antarctica

B47 breaks off Getz Ice Shelf

17.10.2019 10:26   B47 breaks off Getz Ice Shelf Image:

A large iceberg, approximately 260 sq km, recently calved from the Getz Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. Using images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission from 2 September to 14 October 2019, this animation shows the berg breaking off before spinning around in the Amundsen Sea.

The iceberg is approximately 35 km in length, and 10 km wide. Named B47 by the US National Ice Center (NIC), the iceberg was first discovered and confirmed using Copernicus Sentinel-1 imagery by an analyst from the US NIC.

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission carries radar, which can return images regardless of day or night and this allows us year-round viewing, which is especially important through the long, dark, austral winter months.

Fellowship Call

12.10.2019 17:03   Living Planet Fellowship Call

Fellowship Call

To support postdocs initiate a scientific career in Earth observation and Earth system science, ESA’s Living Planet Fellowship Call is open. Apply before 1 November 2019

Fellowship Call

12.10.2019 17:03   Living Planet Fellowship Call

Fellowship Call

To support postdocs initiate a scientific career in Earth observation and Earth system science, ESA’s Living Planet Fellowship Call is open. Apply before 1 November 2019

Fellowship Call

12.10.2019 17:03   Living Planet Fellowship Call

Fellowship Call

To support postdocs initiate a scientific career in Earth observation and Earth system science, ESA’s Living Planet Fellowship Call is open. Apply before 1 November 2019

Earth from Space

11.10.2019 10:05  
In this edition, we explore two saline lakes in East Africa with Copernicus Sentinel-2

Lake Natron

11.10.2019 10:05  
Earth observation image of the week: Copernicus Sentinel-2 takes us over two saline lakes in East Africa

Lake Natron, Tanzania

11.10.2019 10:00   Lake Natron, Tanzania Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over two saline lakes in East Africa: the larger Lake Natron in northern Tanzania and the smaller Lake Magadi, just over the border in Kenya.

Lake Natron is around 60 km long and is fed mainly by the Ewaso Ng'iro River. Despite its dark colour in this image, Lake Natron is often bright red owing to the presence of microorganisms that feed on the salts of the water.

The saline waters make the lake inhospitable for many plants and animals, yet the surrounding salt water marshes are a surprising habitat for flamingos. In fact, the lake is home to the highest concentrations of lesser and greater flamingos in East Africa, where they feed on spirulina – a green algae with red pigments.

The extinct Gelai Volcano, standing at 2942 m tall, is visible southeast of the lake.

The pink-coloured waters of Lake Magadi can also be seen at the top of the image. The lake is over 30 km long and has a notably high salt content, and in some places the salt is up to 40 metres thick. The mineral trona can also be found in the lake’s waters. This mineral is collected and used for glass manufacturing, fabric dyeing and paper production.

Copernicus Sentinel-2 is a two-satellite mission to supply the coverage and data delivery needed for Europe’s Copernicus programme. The mission’s frequent revisits over the same area and high spatial resolution allow changes in inland water bodies to be closely monitored.

This image, which was captured on 3 February 2019, is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Earth from Space: Lake Natron

11.10.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:18

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over two saline lakes in East Africa.

See also Lake Natron, Tanzania to download the image.

Earth from Space: Lake Natron

11.10.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:18

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over two saline lakes in East Africa.

See also Lake Natron, Tanzania to download the image.

Typhoon Hagibis

10.10.2019 16:45  
Japan braces for strong winds and torrential rain as Typhoon Hagibis approaches

Typhoon Hagibis

10.10.2019 16:45  
Japan braces for strong winds and torrential rain as Typhoon Hagibis approaches

Typhoon Hagibis

10.10.2019 16:45  
Japan braces for strong winds and torrential rain as Typhoon Hagibis approaches

Can oceans turn the tide on the climate crisis?

8.10.2019 14:37  

As we pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the world is warming at an alarming rate, with devastating consequences. While our vast oceans are helping to take the heat out of climate change, new research shows that they are absorbing a lot more atmospheric carbon dioxide than previously thought – but these positives may be outweighed by the downsides.

Can oceans turn the tide on the climate crisis?

8.10.2019 14:37   Sea roughness key to carbon flux

As we pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the world is warming at an alarming rate, with devastating consequences. While our vast oceans are helping to take the heat out of climate change, new research shows that they are absorbing a lot more atmospheric carbon dioxide than previously thought – but these positives may be outweighed by the downsides.

The Netherlands

4.10.2019 10:05  
Earth observation image of the week: Copernicus Sentinel-2 takes us over the Netherlands for an ESA open day

Earth from Space

4.10.2019 10:05  
In this week's edition, we discover part of the Netherlands and ESA's technical centre

Earth from Space

4.10.2019 10:05  
In this week's edition, we discover part of the Netherlands and ESA's technical centre

Earth from Space: The Netherlands

4.10.2019 10:00   Video: 00:02:40

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Netherlands for an ESA open day.

See also The Netherlands to download the image.

Amery berg

1.10.2019 17:06  
A massive iceberg breaks off the Amery Ice Shelf in Antarctica, as captured by Copernicus Sentinel-1

World Space Alliance continues to strengthen

27.9.2019 11:50  

The ESA–SAP World Space Alliance continues to grow as Airbus Defence and Space, the Environmental Systems Research Institute and GeoVille join the partnership.

World Space Alliance continues to strengthen

27.9.2019 11:50   World Space Alliance

The ESA–SAP World Space Alliance continues to grow as Airbus Defence and Space, the Environmental Systems Research Institute and GeoVille join the partnership.

Meeting of waters

27.9.2019 10:05  
Earth observation image of the week: Copernicus Sentinel-2 takes us over the junction where the Rio Negro and the Solimões river meet to form the Amazon River

Earth from Space

27.9.2019 10:05  
This week's edition features the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers in the Amazon Basin

Beijing's starfish airport

26.9.2019 14:40  
China’s Daxing International Airport, boasting the world’s largest single-building terminal, is now open for business

Beijing's starfish airport

26.9.2019 14:40  
China’s Daxing International Airport, boasting the world’s largest single-building terminal, is now open for business

A year trapped in Arctic ice for climate science

24.9.2019 16:31  

As millions of people around the world marched for urgent action on climate change ahead of this week’s UN Climate Action Summit, an icebreaker set sail from Norway to spend a year drifting in the Arctic sea ice. This extraordinary expedition is set to make a step change in climate science – and ESA is contributing with a range of experiments.

Vake | Catch wins 2019 Space App Camp

24.9.2019 14:00  

An app that will help wild fisheries achieve sustainable operations using Copernicus Sentinel-3 data took home the top prize at this year’s Space App Camp at ESA’s Earth observation centre in Frascati, Italy.

A new satellite to understand how Earth is losing its cool

24.9.2019 9:35  

Following a rigorous selection process, ESA has selected a new satellite mission to fill in a critical missing piece of the climate jigsaw. By measuring radiation emitted by Earth into space, FORUM will provide new insight into the planet’s radiation budget and how it is controlled.

Clarence Strait

20.9.2019 10:05  
Earth observation image of the week: Copernicus Sentinel-2 takes us over a narrow body of water in Australia’s Northern Territory

Earth from Space

20.9.2019 10:05  
In this week's edition, discover Clarence Strait and part of Australia's Northern Territory with Copernicus Sentinel-2

Harnessing artificial intelligence for climate science

18.9.2019 13:55  

Over 700 Earth observation satellites are orbiting our planet, transmitting hundreds of terabytes of data to downlink stations every day. Processing and extracting useful information is a huge data challenge, with volumes rising quasi-exponentially.

Using a data cube to assess changes in the Earth system

16.9.2019 14:50  

Researchers all over the world have a wealth of satellite data at their fingertips to understand global change, but turning a multitude of different data into actual information can pose a challenge. Using examples of Arctic greening and drought, scientists at ESA’s ɸ-week showed how the Earth System Data Lab is making this task much easier.

First day of camp

16.9.2019 12:22  
This week, 24 app developers are at ESA’s site in Italy for the Space App Camp, where they will be creating mobile applications using satellite data

ɸ-week highlights

13.9.2019 16:20  
As ESA’s second ɸ-week has drawn to a close, let’s take a look at some of the highlights

ɸ-week highlights

13.9.2019 16:20  
As ESA’s second ɸ-week has drawn to a close, let’s take a look at some of the highlights

Relive ɸ-week

13.9.2019 12:15  
Replay the livestream of ESA’s ɸ-week, which explored how open science and innovation can benefit from the latest digital technologies to shape the future of Earth observation

Winning bootcamp ideas at Φ-week

13.9.2019 11:15  

On the sidelines of ESA’s Φ-week, a five-day app-development bootcamp took place where young developers came together to solve big industry challenges using Earth observation data. The teams developed app prototypes, which were tested by a set of users. Those with the best commercial potential were awarded with prizes.

Earth from Space

13.9.2019 10:05  
In this week's edition, explore Baja California in northern Mexico with Copernicus Sentinel-1

Baja California

13.9.2019 10:05  
Earth observation image of the week: Copernicus Sentinel-1 takes us over Baja California, in northern Mexico

First Earth observation satellite with AI ready for launch

12.9.2019 11:12  

A few months from now will see the launch of the first European satellite to demonstrate how onboard artificial intelligence can improve the efficiency of sending Earth observation data back to Earth. Dubbed ɸ-Sat, or PhiSat, this revolutionary artificial intelligence technology will fly on one of the two CubeSats that make up the FSSCat mission – a Copernicus Masters winning idea.

Tracing the environmental impacts of supply chains

11.9.2019 15:15  

Globalisation and international trade allow us to consume produce from all over the world. But this comes at a cost to the environment – but, for the first time, satellite data combined with artificial intelligence is being usedtoprovide information to assess the impact of global supply chains.

Using machine learning for rewilding

10.9.2019 18:25  

There may not be an obvious connection between rewilding and machine learning, but as highlighted today at ESA’s ɸ-week, a project in the Netherlands uses satellite data and new digital technology to understand how a nature reserve responds to the pressure of being grazed by herbivores.

Using artificial intelligence to automate sea-ice charting

10.9.2019 16:34  

Reliable maps of sea-ice conditions and forecasts are of vital importance for maritime safety, safe navigation and planning. The continued retreating and thinning of Arctic sea ice calls for a more effective way of producing detailed and timely ice information – which is where artificial intelligence  comes in.

Using artificial intelligence to automate sea-ice charting

10.9.2019 16:34  

Reliable maps of sea-ice conditions and forecasts are of vital importance for maritime safety, safe navigation and planning. The continued retreating and thinning of Arctic sea ice calls for a more effective way of producing detailed and timely ice information – which is where artificial intelligence comes in.

Australian bushfires

10.9.2019 12:00  
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission captures the multiple blazes that have broken out in northern New South Wales, Australia

ESA’s ɸ-week 2019 opens with a flourish

9.9.2019 18:42  

Following the success of last year’s ɸ-week, this year’s event promises to be even more exciting. With the conference room packed to the gunwales, ɸ-week 2019 kicked off this afternoon at ESA’s centre of Earth observation in Italy with a series of stimulating talks, lively debate and an announcement of a new initiative.

ESA and ɸ

9.9.2019 18:35  
As this week’s ɸ-week kicks off, ESA’s Josef Aschbacher reflects on progress made so far and looks to the future of Earth observation and the digital revolution

AI for space

9.9.2019 18:14  
ESA’s Josef Aschbacher and CLAIRE’s Holger Hoos introduce us the world’s first AI Special Interest Group dedicated to space

Monitoring air pollution from fires

9.9.2019 11:35  

The wildfires that have been devastating the Amazon rainforest have been international headline news over the last weeks. These fires are not only an environmental tragedy in terms of lost forest and biodiversity, but they are also leaving their mark on the atmosphere, affecting air quality and, potentially, the global climate.

Castelli Romani

6.9.2019 10:05  
Earth observation image of the week: Copernicus Sentinel-2 takes us over the Castelli Romani, a volcanic area just outside of Rome in Italy

Earth from Space

6.9.2019 10:05  
In this edition, explore the Castelli Romani area near Rome with Copernicus Sentinel-2

Fellowship Call

5.9.2019 16:50  
To support postdocs initiate a scientific career in Earth observation and Earth system science, ESA’s Living Planet Fellowship Call is open. Apply before 1 November 2019

Fellowship Call

5.9.2019 16:50  
To support postdocs initiate a scientific career in Earth observation and Earth system science, ESA’s Living Planet Fellowship Call is open. Apply before 1 November 2019

ɸ-week live

5.9.2019 14:05  
ESA’s ɸ-week on 9–13 September explores how open science and innovation can benefit from the latest digital technologies to help shape future Earth observation missions and services. Watch live
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