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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.

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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.

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Probing vegetation across the globe

10 July 2013

The first global map of vegetation from the recently launched Proba-V has been unveiled, demonstrating that the minisatellite is on track to continue a 15-year legacy of global vegetation monitoring from space.

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Earth from space: Probing Mesopotamia

28 June 2013

The recently launched Proba-V miniaturised satellite captured this image over the border region of northern Syria, southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq on 28 May.

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Earth's northern biomass mapped and measured

26 June 2013

The biomass of the northern hemisphere's forests has been mapped with greater precision than ever before thanks to satellites, improving our understanding of the carbon cycle and our prediction of Earth's future climate.

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ESA's next Earth Explorer satellite

07 May 2013

ESA's Earth Observation Programme Board has selected 'Biomass' to become the seventh Earth Explorer mission. The innovative satellite aims to map and monitor one of Earth’s most precious resources.

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Innovative vegetation monitor now up in the sky with Proba-V

07 May 2013

A newcomer has joined ESA's Earth Observation fleet with the launch of Proba-V, an innovative and new miniaturised satellite that will track vegetation on a global scale. Its data will provide researchers, educators and students with new data and images, helping us understand more about our own environment.

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Protecting history with satellites

03 April 2013

Looking down from orbit is an attractive way of monitoring historical sites in remote or politically unstable regions - and can even help archaeologists to make new discoveries.

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Miniature satellite to map global vegetation

11 February 2013

The Spot satellites have been charting the world’s vegetation since 1998. This important task soon falls to ESA's Proba-V, which, despite being only a little larger than a washing machine, will provide sharp views of Earth’s plant life every two days.

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Testing time for Proba-V, ESA's global vegetation tracker

15 January 2013

ESA's Proba-V microsatellite is now assembled and midway through testing to ensure it is fully spaceworthy. The miniature Earth-observer, designed to chart global vegetation every two days, will be launched in April.