The reports provided here are based on information pertaining to the operational and reprocessed CryoSat data products. The CryoSat Cyclic Reports are compiled to keep the CryoSat community informed of the overall mission performance and the status of the SIRAL instrument. The report is based on a 30-day reporting period, which has been defined by UCL/MSSL since the Transfer to Operations, as part of the routine QA monitoring activity.
The reports use the following naming convention: CS_CR_XX_YYYYMMDD_yyyymmdd_VV
XX = Cycle number (where "C" denotes cycles from the Commissioning Phase)
YYYYMMDD = Start of reporting period covered by the report
yyyymmdd = End of reporting period covered by the report
VV = report version
In this May 2018 image, Proba-V glanced at the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps, stretching over 500 km along New-Zealand's South Island.
With half a million tourists visiting the 23 peaks over 3000 m high and impressive glaciers every year, the many hydropower stations built since the 1930s and the supply of freshwater, the economic value is evident.
Ecologically, the mountains are home to 550 endemic species of plants above the treeline, the colourful kea and the elusive rock wren, but also five national parks that are part of a continuous tract of protected lands along the entire length of the island.
Culturally, the high peaks are places of awe and spiritual presence for Māori tribes and an inspiration to photographers, painters and authors.
Remembering this importance and the vulnerability of mountains in the world, is precisely what the United Nations' International Mountain Day (11 December) is all about.
© ESA-BELSPO 2018, produced by VITO
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Slow flow for glaciers thinning in Asia
10 December 2018
Providing water for drinking, irrigation and power, glaciers in the world's highest mountains are a lifeline for more than a billion people. As climate change takes a grip and glaciers lose mass, one might think that, lubricated by more meltwater, they flow more quickly. However, satellite images from over the last 30 years show that it isn't as simple as that.
A paper published recently in Nature Geoscience describes how a multitude of satellite images have been used to reveal that there has actually been a slowdown in the rate at which glaciers slide down the high mountains of Asia.
High-mountain Asia stretches from the Tien Shan and Hindu Kush in the northwest, to the eastern Himalayas in the southeast. The area is also part of what is known as 'the third pole' because these high-altitude ice fields contain the largest reserve of freshwater outside the polar regions.
The source of the 10 major river systems, the third pole provides freshwater for over 1.3 billion people in Asia – nearly 20% of the world's population.