ESA at COP22 climate change Summit
Space agencies combine efforts for space hydrology
In addition, the Sentinel missions for Europe’s Copernicus programme are providing daily information on ice, water bodies and atmosphere.
ESA’s Climate Change Initiative helps to address issues related to climate through the exploitation of over 30 years of satellite data, and its projects focus on different climate variables such as greenhouse gases, glaciers, sea ice and soil moisture.
ESA also runs a number of projects that focus on water: the TIGER initiative trains African water authorities and researchers in exploiting satellite data and Earth observation technology for sustainable water resource management, while GlobWetland supports the building of wetland inventories, as well as the monitoring and assessment of wetland ecosystems with satellite data.
With the support of international organisations and the user community, the heads of space agencies agreed to continue the supply of space hydrology data, and will propose new missions to improve and complement current measurements in other domains relevant to the environment and specifically on climate change.
They will also support initiatives that strengthen capacity-building to promote the use of these new data in order to improve forecasting and help decision-makers manage water resources more effectively.
The meeting also provided the opportunity for heads of space agencies to follow up a key issue that came out of last year’s COP21 in Paris: the monitoring of carbon dioxide from space. ESA and the European Commission have already begun defining a global carbon dioxide-monitoring system with the support of NASA and Japan’s JAXA space agency.
Guillermo Gonzalo Sánchez Achutegui
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