Minimize Earth Topics

Various satellite instruments focus on different aspects of the Earth system.

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What has half a century of Earth Observation taught us? The single biggest revolution is that our planet is always in flux. Like traditional paper maps, an individual satellite acquisition is rapidly outdated. But repeat acquisitions add a time dimension, capturing the dynamic complexity of the Earth system - differences between a wide array of satellite sensors, improving the understanding of how the Earth system works and the impact of human activities.

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Viedma and Carmen de Patagones, Argentina

18 April 2014

This Proba-1 image, acquired by the CHRIS instrument on 10 January 2014, shows the cities of Viedma and Carmen de Patagones in Argentina.

Minimize Agriculture
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Roughly 37% of Earth’s land is today employed for agricultural purposes, with about 11% used for growing crops and the reminder for pasture.

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Minimize Solid Earth
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Looking down on Earth from space is a surprisingly accurate way of detecting ground motion and subterranean features.

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Minimize Land
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Earth’s land is the most varied terrain in the Solar System. Satellites classify land cover on an objective global basis, tracking changes as they occur.

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Minimize Snow and Ice
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The snow-and-ice 'cryosphere' is an important regulator of global climate - but one that is unequally sensitive to the effects of global warming.

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Minimize Atmosphere
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Space-based sensors detect otherwise invisible changes to the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

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Minimize Water
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All life on land depends on surface freshwater, placed there by the water cycle - a phenomenon vulnerable to climate change.

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Minimize Ocean and Coasts
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Oceans cover 71% of Earth's surface. They determine our climate and represent an economic mainstay: 60% of people live less than 60 km from the sea.

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Minimize Natural Disasters
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Major catastrophes are currently occurring once a fortnight on average. Damage mapping by satellite helps guide emergency response efforts.

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