Sea-level rise

Although it may not be immediately obvious when we visit the beach, sea-level rise is affecting coastlines all over the world. For low-lying countries such as the Netherlands, sea-level rise and tidal surges are a constant threat. Our oceans are rising as a consequence of climate change. As the temperature of seawater increases it expands and the ice melting from ice sheets and glaciers adds more water to the global ocean. We know this because satellites high above our heads measure the temperature of the sea surface and of our changing ice.

While the global averaged trend is towards rising levels, there are many regional differences so that in some places it is rising and in other places it is falling. Satellites carrying altimeter instruments systematically measure the height of the sea surface so that sea-level rise can be closely monitored. Altimetry measurements over the last 25 years show that on average sea-level is rising about 3 mm a year and this rise is accelerating.

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State of the EU 2018

12 September, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gave his fourth and last State of the Union speech before Parliament in Strasbourg. He called for a strong and united Europe, warning against the dangers of populism. With eight months to go until the European elections, the debate outlined an ambitious path for the European Union of 27, Strasbourg.

Paxi – The Greenhouse effect

Join Paxi as he explores the greenhouse effect to learn about global warming.

In this video, targeted at children aged between 6 and 12, Paxi explains the greenhouse effect and what we can do to help.

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The adventures of Paxi are also available in the following languages:
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Earth from Space: Columbia Glacier

Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web TV virtual studios. In this edition Sentinel-2B takes us over the Columbia Glacier, one of the most rapidly changing glaciers in the world.

See also https://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/05/Columbia_Glacier to download the image.

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Glaciers in decline

Apart from Antarctica, Patagonia is home to the biggest glaciers in the southern hemisphere, but some are retreating faster than anywhere else in the world. This is because the weather is relatively warm and these glaciers typically terminate in fjords and lakes, exacerbating surface melting and causing them to flow faster and lose ice as icebergs at their margins. Traditionally, it has been very difficult to map exactly how fast these glaciers are changing. However, a new way of processing ESA CryoSat swath data now makes it possible to map these glaciers in fine detail. CryoSat has revealed that between 2011 and 2017, there was widespread thinning, particularly in Patagonia’s more northern ice fields. The Jorge Montt glacier, which flows down to the ocean, retreated 2.5 km and lost about 2.2 Gt a year. In contrast, Pio XI, the largest glacier in South America, advanced and gained mass at a rate of about 0.67 Gt a year. However, over the six-year period, the glaciers overall lost mass at a rate of over 21 Gt a year. This loss is adding about 0.06 mm a year to sea level.

© Planetary Visions (credit: ESA/Planetary Visions)

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Learn more: http://bit.ly/CryosatRevealsRetreatOfPatagoniaGlaciers

Glaciers in decline

Apart from Antarctica, Patagonia is home to the biggest glaciers in the southern hemisphere, but some are retreating faster than anywhere else in the world. This is because the weather is relatively warm and these glaciers typically terminate in fjords and lakes, exacerbating surface melting and causing them to flow faster and lose ice as icebergs at their margins. Traditionally, it has been very difficult to map exactly how fast these glaciers are changing. However, a new way of processing ESA CryoSat swath data now makes it possible to map these glaciers in fine detail. CryoSat has revealed that between 2011 and 2017, there was widespread thinning, particularly in Patagonia’s more northern ice fields. The Jorge Montt glacier, which flows down to the ocean, retreated 2.5 km and lost about 2.2 Gt a year. In contrast, Pio XI, the largest glacier in South America, advanced and gained mass at a rate of about 0.67 Gt a year. However, over the six-year period, the glaciers overall lost mass at a rate of over 21 Gt a year. This loss is adding about 0.06 mm a year to sea level.

© Planetary Visions (credit: ESA/Planetary Visions)

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Learn more: http://bit.ly/CryosatRevealsRetreatOfPatagoniaGlaciers

Earth from Space: special edition

In this special edition of Earth from Space, senior project scientist at Gamma Remote Sensing, Dr Maurizio Santoro, joins the show to discuss how his team estimates forest biomass from space.

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From waste packaging to organic food: coming up in Strasbourg

At April’s plenary session, MEPs will look to the future of the EU with French President Emmanuel Macron, while also discussing organic food production, the recycling of waste packaging, greenhouse gas emissions, and the problem of money laundering.