Out Of This Environment Imagery Of Our Planet's 'lungs'

Today (8 June) is World Oceans Evening and EUMETSAT is proud to bring you some out-of-this-environment imagery of world Earth’s oceans and seas.

We hope the animation and images below inspire and motivate readers to find out more on the UN’s purpose in designating a global Oceans Day:

“How to inform the public of the influence of human actions in the ocean, create a worldwide activity of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s inhabitants on a task for the sustainable supervision of the world’s oceans. They are the lungs of our world, providing most of the oxygen we breathe.”

To tag World Oceans Evening, EUMETSAT features released this animation, ‘A Season of Ocean Colour 2017’

The 2-minute animation shows measurements of chlorophyll in the oceans throughout 2017. It is narrated by Dr Hayley Evers-King from Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

EUMETSAT’s fleet of meteorological satellites provides data about our oceans for climatic conditions and ocean forecasting and climate change monitoring.

In addition, EUMETSAT processes and disseminates marine data from the European Union’s Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission.

Sentinel-3B premiered on 25 April and EUMETSAT is getting ready to take over businesses of the satellite from its headquarters found in Darmstadt, Germany. Although the satellite continues to be undergoing its commissioning period, the imagery it possesses begun to mail back to Earth has impressed using its quality.

Sentinel-3B captures a good rare, cloud-free day more than Northern Europe on 8 May - among the first photos it sent back to Earth. Features over the property and water could be clearly seen, incorporating differing types of terrain cover, such as snow go over, and a plume of phytoplankton in the North Sea.

The Ocean and Land Surface Heat Radiometer on-board Sentinel-3B captured a fascinating image of a low over the UK and Ireland and the Bay of Biscay, Spain. The image was taken at 10:51 UTC on Wednesday 9 May. Clearly noticeable will be interesting cloud features away the west coast of Spain, Portugal and northern Africa, and a trough through the Gibraltar spot.

One of the first infrared pictures (channel S8/10.8 ‘M nadir viewpoint) of the Sentinel-3B Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR), used simply a few moments after the activation of the infrared stations, shows the beautiful dynamics of the Baltic Sea. The photo was obtained at 09:27 on 30 May. It captures the era of filaments and meanders in the Gulf of Finland, fully shaped eddies in the Gotland Basin, coastal upwelling along the Polish and Latvian coasts and various other mesoscale and sub mesoscale features in the basin. The impressive image displays promising results for high-top quality SLSTR-B sea surface temp measurements.

What satellite data about the oceans can reveal?

The uses for satellite info are various and varied and the impact on our daily lives is great - and growing - if not always well-known by the general public.

Altimeters provide details about sea level and, because we’ve data stretching back above decades, the way the sea level is soaring. But these instruments provide information critical for maritime safety, for example, significant wave heights.

Sea surface temperature info can be used to greatly help predict hurricane and cyclone paths, allowing communities to prepare in advance. The info can also help predict El Nino and La Nina phenomena.

Ocean colour data express phytoplankton concentrations and can provide important information regarding harmful algal blooms.

The data will not only help increase responses to herbal and man-made disasters but also provide business opportunities.

But information regarding the oceans is also crucial for climate forecasting a large number of kilometres away. Our latest blog content discusses how, if you would like to find out what the weather in Europe will end up like in 10 days/time, it’s vital that you look at what’s taking place over the Pacific Ocean nowadays.

Becoming weather set and climate smart

‘Weather ready, climate intelligent’ may be the theme of the year’s World Meteorological Evening.

How close are we to being weather ready and climate sensible? What more has to be done?

We spoke to EUMETSAT Chief Scientist Dr Kenneth Holmlund to determine.

The role of EUMETSAT

As an actor within the meteorological community, EUMETSAT plays a part in the added-value chain which ranges from observations, to modelling, forecasts and delivery of information to decision-makers.

EUMETSAT stands at the start of the complex chain, operating meteorological and environment-monitoring satellites and disseminating accurate observations, goods and data.

‘For us, what’s important is to comprehend what is needed for the downstream applications and companies and to anticipate what requirements there will be in the future’, Ken said.

In conditions of the changing weather, weather requirements are as well changing and we need to understand the impacts of this on the mandatory information, info and science.

For example, you will find a large amount of discussion today with respect to weather extremes and how climate extremes will evolve because of a changing climate.

‘Typical examples presented with are bigger and more repeated tropical storms and heat waves. We must ensure we are able to address this effectively, to ensure our observations can fulfill future needs’.

Part of this will demand that EUMETSAT is involved in the development of specific goods from its info, maximises the huge benefits from it has the existing and potential satellite missions and talks about the opportunity of new missions.

EUMETSAT is collaborating with ESA and supporting the European Commission in this is of new European capacities like carbon and greenhouse gas monitoring and enhanced observational capacity above the arctic.

Predicting the next big storm

‘It’s very important to us to address weather conditions extremes because that saves lives’, Ken said.

Studies and ‘Forensic examination’ of climate forecasts, where predicted storm paths are re-examined after the event to determine their reliability, have shown the crucial role satellite data take up. (See our previous blog page post.)

The deployment of the next generation of EUMETSAT geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites from 2021 will permit us to see thunderstorms in a totally diverse way, Ken said.

‘The functions of the imager on the Meteosat Third Generation spacecraft will have a very dramatic effect on nowcasting and very short-range forecasting’, he said.

Images of Europe can come to be provided every two-and-a-half a few minutes with improved image resolution, providing far greater detail about cloud properties. When coupled with data from the new Infrared Sounder (IRS), an unprecedented look at of the ambiance at a very high temporal regularity will be obtained.

The new Lightning Imager to be flown up to speed MTG will increase that very different perspective of thunderstorms.

‘What will happen in global numerical weather prediction and for nowcasting and very short-range climate forecasts is that people should develop models that look at the whole system in one’, Ken said.

‘Forecasters don’t have period to look at all the data individually and can need a view. EUMETSAT will continue to work with the elements services to try to understand how they are going to try to do the job in the foreseeable future with this data’.

Requirements for climate

A location Ken believes more function is now needed is in deciding requirements for info to help decision makers develop policies to handle climate change through adaptation and mitigation methods.

These requirements won’t be the same as those for forecasting and science applications.

The Global Environment Observing System (GCOS) has discovered seven environment indicators it considers crucial - surface temperature, ocean heating, atmospheric skin tightening and, ocean acidification, sea level, glacier mass stability and Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent.

‘Being climate good means we’ve in place the info for the adaptation and mitigation actions that we need’, he said. For instance, if we’ve another big heat wave in Europe, will we have the same issues we’d a couple of years ago whenever a lot of people were not coping very well with it?

There was some good progress at COP21 with regards to understanding climate change. We have made a whole lot of good decisions and there happen to be very good intentions and we are trying to develop systems that may support those decisions.

But I am personally worried that it’s inadequate, too later. If we don’t consider things seriously, we’re able to have a runaway system that we will have difficulties to control.

‘I believe space organizations are acquiring this seriously. We happen to be doing our utmost but progress is sluggish. We will continue to need good support from Member States and Europe and which means commitment of finance’.

Right down to Earth choices

While Ken described the methods space agencies are consuming a bid to improve our prospects to be weather ready and environment smart, he said people and countries had their own roles to take up.

‘We can do much more to address the amount of energy we are using’, he said.

There are a lot of personal choices to create and it’s not easy to change.

Can I really protest easily have to drive at no more than 130km/h? To drive faster means big engines, fat tyres, big strength consumption. Lowering the utmost quickness will improve traffic move and in the long run be almost as instant as no quickness limit for long distance travel.

And do so many of us should drive to function, one individual per car? Public transport could still be significantly improved, along with developing right routes for bicycles.

Another example is certainly that we don’t seem to be to take plastic material very seriously. Some countries contain banned plastic hand bags, we in European countries might like to make an effort this. Whilst a whole lot of plastic can be recycled as well as used for energy, it still appears wasteful and causes a huge environmental stress.

‘Things can be achieved at different levels for countries that are looking to take factors seriously’.