ESAEducationHomeWeather and ClimateGlobal ChangeNatural Disasters
Coastal change
Danube Delta change detectionOil spills
Bardia National ParkCongo River BasinKameng-Sonitpur Elephant ReserveKilimanjaroRondoniaShillong and Guwahati
Antarctica 2003Climate change and glaciersGlacier analysis using radar imageryGlacial retreat in the AlpsGlacier Ice FlowMonitoring of glaciers in the HimalayasRemote sensing of ice and snow
CairoCity of KathmanduCórdobaHimalayasKathmandu ValleyLagos
Annapurna Conservation AreaLost in the AndesNgorongoro Conservation AreaNiger Inland DeltaVegetation in South America
printer friendly page
For a large number of glaciers, the use of satellite images taken at different times has proven to be useful for the study of glacier changes over large areas.

Several change detection techniques can be used to measure glacier change, and depending on the task, several can be suitable. Presently, scientists worldwide prefer the GIS method forthe quantification of glacier changes, because the saved glacier outline files can be easily exchanged, distributed and analysed. The GIS method also allows them to combine more than two glacier stages.

As you have seen from the exercises, glacier change cannot always be easily and clearly recognised. Visible changes may not only stem from glacier changes. Snow patches around the glaciers, for instance, can change in a short time and suggest glacier change, even if the glacier itself has not changed. Even different illumination conditions may suggest change whenthere is none.

Nevertheless, the remote sensing techniques that were introduced here allow scientists, for the first time in history, to detect glacier change on a global scale. This allows them to analyse climate change and its impact on glaciers even for very remote areas where no ground-based meteorological measurements exist.  


Climate change and glaciers
Worksheet introductionExercise 1: Inspection of true colour RGB compositesExercise 2: AnimationExercise 3: Band ArithmeticExercise 4: GISExercise 5: Measurement of areaExercise 6: Multitemporal analysis
Eduspace - Software
LEOWorks 4 (MacOS)LEOWorks 4 (Linux)LEOWorks 4 (Windows)
Eduspace - Download
Andes_images.zipGoogleEarth file
   Copyright 2000 - 2015 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.