Space data holds the key to a sustainable future

By Giorgia Scaturro – SciDev.Net

Better information on the planet’s ecosystems and how they are changing can feed into policy and development, and vastly reduce the risks posed by natural disasters.

In our globalising world, the havoc wreaked by climate change and environmental challenges in one place can have impacts much further afield — harvest losses in Kenya can ramp up food prices at home and throughout the global supply chain, for example. This means acting locally to contain a threat is no longer enough.

Scientists and policymakers increasingly recognise the role satellites play in revealing how local issues fit into a global picture. The latest effort to monitor the planet in all its complexity is Sentinel 3A, a family of next-generation satellites collecting detailed data on virtually every aspect of the Earth’s ecosystem, from sea to agricultural land.

In this short film, we meet the scientists who helped launch the Sentinels into space.

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