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Sentinel-1 speeds up crop insurance payouts

17 August 2017

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For the first time in India, a state government is using satellites to assess lost crops so that farmers can benefit from speedy insurance payouts.

The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is home to around 68 million people, of which almost a million are rice farmers. However, Tamil Nadu is facing the worst drought in 140 years, leading to the land being too dry for paddy fields, lost yield, widespread misery and unrest.

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar mission has been used to alleviate a little of the suffering by providing evidence of damaged land and failed crops so that the Agricultural Insurance Company of India can compensate farmers as quickly as possible. So far, more than 200,000 farmers have received payouts.

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Antarctica hikes up sea level

14 June 2018

In a major collaborative effort, scientists from around the world have used information from satellites to reveal that ice melting in Antarctica has not only raised sea levels by 7.6 mm since 1992, but, critically, almost half of this rise has occurred in the last five years.

Antarctica hikes sea level rise

This information is key to understanding how climate change is affecting the most remote part of the planet and how this has consequences for the rest of the world.