- Go to http://envisat.esa.int/ and click on <The first ENVISAT check-
up of the Earth - http://www.esa.int/envisat/> link to see a
spectacular image of West Africa (Mauritania)with the easternmost
section of the Cape Verde Islands just making it into the leftmost
side of the image. Also Senegal, The Gambia, and northern Gunea
"The first MERIS observation has captured the huge phytoplankton
patch produced by the "upwelling" mechanism along the Mauritanian
coast. The unprecedented resolution allows fine scale structures to
be detected. In such upwelling areas north-east trade winds bring
deep and nutrient-rich water to the surface, feeding phytoplankton.
Changes in climate affect the intensity of the upwelling with
important consequences for marine ecosystems, fisheries and the local
Compare image to map of the area -
From CNN -
The largest, most expensive satellite from the European Space Agency
has beamed back its first images, signaling the start of a thorough
examination of the health of the planet.
The $2.2 billion, nine-ton spacecraft, launched one month ago aboard
a powerful Ariane 5 rocket, is equipped with 10 different devices to
monitor the atmosphere, land, sea and ice.
Known as ENVISAT, the orbiter will provide the most detailed picture
yet of environmental conditions on Earth, according to space agency
scientists, who unveiled the inaugural images last week in Italy.
The probe went into service just in time to capture the
disintegration of an ice shelf in Antarctica. The rapid rate at which
the Larsen B shelf broke apart surprised scientists, who speculate
that it was hastened by global warming.