Three of the world's largest and fastest yachts are in the midst of a non-stop trans-global race, hurtling in excess of 25 knots - 46 kilometres per hour - through the Southern Ocean encircling Antarctica. Iceberg collision is a real risk, but ice-sensitive radar satellites are monitoring the area to provide advance warning to crews.
Spring starts early this year in Norway's fjords and coastal waters, with sunny weather awakening a colourful bloom of marine phytoplankton. ESA's Envisat spacecraft is being used to monitor its development.
04 March 2005
A colourful view of the Bangladesh coastline to mark the week of ESA's Envisat environmental satellite's third anniversary in orbit.
19 January 2005
Some anticipated the 'collision of the century': the vast, drifting B15-A iceberg was apparently on collision course with the floating pier of ice known as the Drygalski ice tongue. Whatever actually happens from here, Envisat's radar vision will pierce through Antarctic clouds to give researchers a ringside seat.
09 January 2005
China's spectacular economic growth during the last decade has brought many benefits ? and some challenges. Global atmospheric mapping of nitrogen dioxide pollution performed by ERS-2's GOME and Envisat's SCIAMACHY reveals the world's largest amount of NO2 hanging above Beijing and northeast China, as reported in Nature this week.
A week after the tsunami that hit Asia on 26 December the death toll is still rising. Nearly 140 000 people are confirmed dead, more than 1.8 million people need food aid and an estimated five million are homeless.
23 December 2004
There is a desert in the heart of the South Pacific. Surrounding Easter Island is the purest and bluest seawater on Earth, almost empty of the microscopic phytoplankton at the base of the marine food web. French vessel L'Atalante recently completed a research cruise through this region, its day-to-day route guided by ocean colour satellites.
15 December 2004
This ultra high-resolution sea surface temperature map of the Mediterranean could only have been made with satellites. Any equivalent ground-based map would need almost a million and a half thermometers placed into the water simultaneously, one for every two square kilometres of sea.
06 December 2004
It is hard to overstate the scale of the humanitarian emergency unfolding in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region: by current estimates there are 1.45 million people displaced from their homes across an area the size of France. However, images from space are assisting aid workers as they cope with the crisis.
11 October 2004
Based on 18 months of Envisat observations, this high-resolution global atmospheric map of nitrogen dioxide pollution makes clear just how human activities impact air quality.
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