ESA keeps watch on weather

29 September 2011

The 8th International Weather Forum is set to open in Paris, France. The five-day event offers exhibitions and educational workshops to visitors on the subjects of weather and climate, energy, environment, water and space.

Held 1–5 October at the Palais de la Découverte science museum, the Forum seeks to raise awareness of the impact of climate change and offers suggestions on how we can reduce our carbon footprint.

For ESA, it is also an opportunity to promote the extent of its efforts in meteorology and climatology.

In addition to sponsoring the event, ESA has partnered with the French space agency CNES for an educational workshop on how satellites can contribute to our knowledge of extreme weather phenomena and the effect of climate change on oceans.

During the last three days of the event, a programme for professionals will include a debate on climate change and oceans, training on the interpretation of satellite images for developing countries, an international symposium and training for teachers.

ESA Earth observation expert Pierre-Philippe Mathieu will speak at the teachers’ session on 5 October. Mr Mathieu will discuss the capabilities of satellites in monitoring the climate system on a global scale and present Earth observation educational tools developed by ESA for teachers and students.

Since the launch of Meteosat-1 in 1977, ESA has kept an eye on global weather and environment with its Earth observation missions.

Today, with satellites like MetOp, we are able follow the progress of disaster-causing weather with even greater accuracy.

ESA continues to play a major role in the study and monitoring of climatic phenomena and their evolution with satellites dedicated to the environment.

These satellites include Envisat, the Earth Explorers – such as CryoSat-2, SMOS and GOCE – and the five planned Sentinel missions.

Sentinel responds to European policy needs as part of the Global Monitoring for Environment & Security programme in partnership with the European Commission.

There is also the new generation of geostationary and polar meteorological missions, including MSG-2/3, MTG and EPS, in a joint undertaking with Eumetsat.

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