Envisat, Europe's first environmental observation polar platform "is changing the way we do science", according to scientists at the European Space Agency and British National Space Centre pavilion (Outside OS7).


Envisat is helping answer many questions about our environment including those relating to global warming, the ozone layer, the Pacific Ocean's El Nino current, deforestation, rising sea levels, atmospheric pollution and natural disasters.

Its low polar orbit, passing over the whole globe in a day, combined with an enhanced suite of eight instruments is also providing a unique access to remote areas, such as the collapsing ice sheets of the Antarctica which are causing a rise in the height of the oceans.

The craft has resulted in the discovery that the south Pacific Ocean's biological activity has been reduced by the lack of iron dust in that region's atmosphere. Iron dust encourages biological activity.

The image (right) is of Sicily, taken by Envisat's medium resolution imaging instrument (MERIS), shows the effects of coastal erosion.

Source: Flight Daily News