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The extensive mapping of vegetation and its condition form key elements of programmes aimed at the development of national and international food policies. Whilst ongoing research studies the more detailed biophysical processes.

Minimize Vegetation
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FLEX takes on mutants

25 August 2016

If a plant isn't green it doesn't mean it can't photosynthesise as well as its more usual counterpart, but when measured by satellites, these non-green varieties skew results on plant health. FLEX is different. Experiments using 'mutants' show that colour won't be an obstacle in this new mission's task of mapping plant health from space.

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Help wanted on tracking biodiversity from space

12 August 2015

Conservation organisations and space agencies are being called on to join forces to decide how changes in biodiversity can be monitored globally. What, exactly, should be measured by satellites?

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Plant power from above

03 February 2015

Field experiments have shown how ESA's potential FLEX mission could identify vegetation that is suffering degrees of stress invisible to the naked eye.

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Is Europe an underestimated sink for carbon dioxide?

05 January 2015

A new study using satellite data suggests that Europe's vegetation extracts more carbon from the atmosphere than previously thought.

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A wing for Sentinel-2A

01 September 2014

Imaging Earth's land with unprecedented speed and resolution has come another step closer as the next Sentinel satellite has been given its solar wing and started a strenuous six-month test campaign to make sure that it is fit for launch next April.

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Year-old Proba-V charting global greenery

07 May 2014

A year after its launch, ESA's Proba-V is set to make a giant leap for a minisatellite: formally taking over the task of continuously charting our planet's global vegetation.

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Sharp-eyed Proba-V works around the clock

18 February 2014

More than 5000 images, 65 daily global maps and six 10-day global syntheses, plus a quick peek at the Olympics: in its first two months of work, the vegetation-monitoring Proba-V minisatellite has yielded a valuable harvest for around a hundred scientific teams around the globe.

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Glowing plants a sign of health

12 February 2014

Radiant skin is considered a sign of good health in humans, but plants also glow when they are well. A potential new ESA satellite could use this fluorescence to track the health and productivity of vegetation worldwide.

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Reflecting on Earth's albedo

06 September 2013

The amount of sunlight being absorbed or reflected by Earth is one of the driving forces for weather and climate. Satellites are providing this information with unprecedented accuracy.

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Earth's 'carbon dioxide breathing' seen from space

04 September 2013

Ten years of satellite observations of greenhouse gases reveal that carbon dioxide in our atmosphere continues to increase despite international efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Satellites also show that recent methane increases are likely due to manmade emissions.