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ESA testing detection of floating plastic litter from orbit

19 March 2018

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The millions of tonnes of plastic ending up in the oceans every year are a global challenge. ESA is responding by looking at the detection of marine plastic litter from space, potentially charting its highest concentrations and understanding the gigantic scale of the problem.

We dump around 10 million tonnes of plastic in the oceans annually. Though most conspicuous along coastlines, plastic litter is also found out in the open ocean and from the equator to the pole – even frozen in polar ice.

Gradually broken down into micro-fragments by weathering and waves, it is not only endangering marine animals but it is also entering the global food chain, with unknown long-term consequences for animal life and our own health.

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Sentinel-2 maps Indonesia earthquake

05 October 2018

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Indonesia on 28 September, destroying homes and hundreds of lives.

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Satellite data can be used to support international disaster risk management efforts, such as those in Indonesia. One of the ways in which ESA is contributing to this area is through leading a range of activities in the framework of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Working Group on Disasters.