18 January 2021For a few days now, a so-called "stratospheric warming" has been announced over the North Pole. Within a few days, the air layers above 20 kilometres warm up by up to 50 °C. The processes in the stratosphere could also influence winter weather in Europe for several weeks. The processes in the stratosphere could also influence the winter weather in Europe for several weeks.
21 December 2020The Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI) at the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) has developed "ZKI-DE", a service specifically for federal institutions. It has been successfully operated for eight years. At the end of 2020, this ZKI-DE service will be handed over to the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG). For German authorities, the federal continuation is an important step.
17 December 2020Recent data recorded by TerraSAR-X show that the northern end of iceberg A68a obviously ran aground near South Georgia, causing a large piece of the iceberg to break off. With its immense size of 145 km in length and 45 km in width it is almost as large as the island itself. According to the latest assessments it has rotated back toward the south and abandoned its direct course of collision with the island. However, it is still very near the critical ocean depth of 200 metres, so it could still become entirely grounded on the ocean floor and remain at South Georgia for some time. This scenario would represent a serious threat for the hundreds of thousands of penguins and seals living on South Georgia. Because of its length, A68a could block off access to feeding grounds, which would have grave effects on the fauna of this South Atlantic island.
17 December 2020The Chaco is a South American landscape characterized by dry forests and thorn-bush savannas. It takes up over 60% of Paraguay’s total area and provides a habitat for species such as the lowland tapir and the jaguar. However, extensive disruption to the natural ecosystem seriously endangers its biodiversity. In a project financed by the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, collaboration between EOC and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has produced an Atlas of the Paraguayan Chaco.
10 December 2020The ozone hole over the southern hemisphere is the largest ever recorded and it is still there, although it is meanwhile December. Chemical processes and the strength of the polar vortex determine the prominence of the ozone hole. This vortex can be imagined as a large low-pressure zone above the pole, extending from the troposphere up into the stratosphere (from the ground up to an altitude of 50 km). The cold polar night of winter in the southern hemisphere gives rise to a strong west wind, prompted by large pressure differences between the polar region and its surroundings, as well as by the Coriolis force. This wind forms the outer edge of the polar vortex and hinders to a large extent the exchange of air masses between the equator and the pole.
22. November 2020With the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, a new 'climate guardian' will observe Earth from space. On 21 November 2020 at 18:17 CET (09:17 local time), the eighth satellite of the European Copernicus programme is scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California (US) on board a Falcon 9 launcher. "Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time," explains Walther Pelzer, a member of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Executive Board and Head of the DLR Space Administration.