News

GMES for Europe

12 October 2012

The potential of GMES for crisis management and environmental monitoring is highlighted in a new publication with users demonstrating the importance of Earth observation data to European regions.

The use of data from Earth-observing satellites in the insurance business is still in the early stages, but pressure to be ready for more frequent extreme-weather events is increasing.

Archived radar data from the Envisat mission are playing an important role in mapping landslides in Switzerland. The mission's vast archives continue to prove useful for mapping ground deformation.

Scientists have gathered in the 'floating city' this week to talk about radar altimetry - measuring the heights of the global sea surface, freshwater bodies, land and ice using spaceborne sensors.

Glaciers are one of the largest reservoirs of freshwater on our planet, and their melting or growing is one of the best indicators of climate change. However, knowledge of glacier change has been hampered by lack of data, especially for understanding regional behaviour.

A new 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.

In November 2008, an eruption occurred in the Alu-Dalafilla volcanic centre that lies 30 km north of the lava lake, the eruption started on 3 November and eruptive activity peaked over a few hours and then waned exponentially until stopping on the night of 6 November 2008.

Wetlands are havens of biodiversity, and have important ecological, hydrological and economic value, but their misuse can have devastating consequences. Satellite data are being used for wetland conservation and management.

The risk of natural disasters can be reduced by understanding our environment and the fundamental forces that shape it. Earth-observing satellites can provide vital information to mitigate and prepare for disasters.

Satellite measurements show that nitrogen dioxide in the lower atmosphere over parts of Europe and the US has fallen over the past decade. More than 15 years of atmospheric observations have revealed trends in air quality.

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