May 27, 2019
Latest News

Satellite images suggest deforestation decreasing in Latin America

By Gonzalo Sánchez

Milan (Italy), May 14 (efe-epa).- Pictures of the Latin American rainforest taken from space suggest that efforts to tackle deforestation have proven fruitful as the so-called lungs of the earth seem to be slowly recovering, the European Space Agency told Efe Tuesday.

As ESA prepares to launch a satellite that will serve the sole purpose of monitoring the Amazon rainforest, recent images suggest that reforestation drives implemented by governments in the region are improving the state of decline the area has experienced due to farming on a huge scale.

"The evolution (of deforestation in South America) had experienced very important and negative situations in past years, for example in Brazil, but today it is improving thanks to the huge efforts of governments," Simonetta Cheli, ESA's Earth observation head of strategy, programme and coordination office told Efe.

Cheli is of the opinion that some countries in the region "implement important reforestation activities but also of containment," of the alarming destruction of their forests.

"This can be seen from the satellite," the expert said on occasion of the Living Planet Symposium in Milan, in northern Italy.

The international forum sees experts, scientists and students meet every three years to assess the state of the planet.

Satellites observing the Earth pay special attention to the Latin American region, which encounters several geological phenomena such as seismic activity and volcanic eruptions, as well as environmental challenges which include deforestation and the melting of its age-old glaciers.

With regards to deforestation, Cheli believes more needs to be done on a global scale, but that this is not something ESA can aspire to do as it acts as a data collection agency through compiling an image bank of photos, amongst other things, that its satellites are able to capture.

The rainforest is often covered in a dense fog, but ESA's power radars are able to see through it.

The Space Agency has developed a special satellite called "Biomass" which is expected to launch sometime in 2022 and will focus exclusively on compiling data about the Earth's forests.

The melting of ice caps and glaciers in Latin America is also a big concern.

An international team of experts suggests some 9 billion tonnes of ice have melted between 1961 and 2016 which has to lead to 27-millimeter rise in sea levels worldwide.

The largest losses took place in Alaska, followed by Greenland and the glaciers in the southern Andes mountain chain which runs down western Latin America for 7,000 km (4,300 miles).

Also of interest for ESA is the monitoring of Europe, where it is estimated some 400,000 people die every year due to diseases related to pollution, Cheli added quoting a report by the European Environment Agency.

ESA is hoping to apply for further funding at the forthcoming ministerial meeting in Spain next Nov. in order to launch new satellites and increase its space exploration capacity.

Amongst the new cutting edge projects within the programme is the development of a space mission that would analyze carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, Cheli said.

"We plan to launch new missions such as one dedicated to monitoring CO2 and emissions in forthcoming years and we will request funding for this in November at an ESA ministerial meeting in Sevilla (southern Spain)," the expert continued.

Scientists are deeply concerned about the quality of air in large cities where local governments have started to implement restrictions on traffic in the city centers of Rome, Madrid, Paris or Berlin.

The Sentinel 5P satellite, which forms part of the ambitious Copernico programme, provides important data that allows us to understand the factors that affect the air Europeans are breathing in.

However, studies are limited to analyzing nitrogen dioxide o methane, the expert added.

The data has been used to create maps that highlight particularly polluted areas in red, such as industrial hubs in Belgium, The Netherlands, southern England and areas in Germany and Italy.

All data collected by ESA suggests that the Earth faces a worrying moment which warrants an increase in funding for observation programs in order to create informed action plans, the Italian expert concluded.EFE-EPA

gsm/ch/jt

News history
Trump first foreign leader to be received by new Japanese emperor

Tokyo, May 27 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Monday became the first foreign leader to be received in audience by the new emperor of...

EPP wins poll amid rise of Greens, Liberal Democrats, some far-right parties

Laura Perez-Cejuela and Laura Zornoza

Bolsonaro supported by thousands in Brazilian cities

By Waldheim Garcia Montoya

Trump gives trophy to sumo winner during Japan visit

Tokyo, May 26 (efe-epa).- The United States President Donald Trump on Sunday awarded a trophy to the winner of a sumo wrestling final in the Japanese...

New York, May 26 (EFE).- Some 2,300 US sailors have dropped anchor in New York for the traditional "Fleet Week," a tribute by the Big Apple to US maritime...

Powerful quake rocks Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, kills 1

Lima, May 26 (efe-epa).- At least one person was killed and 11 others were injured by the magnitude-7.5 earthquake that had its epicenter in the Peruvian...

Tornado kills 2 in Oklahoma

Washington, May 26 (efe-epa).- At least two people were killed and several others injured when a tornado tore through El Reno, Oklahoma, the city's mayor,...

Iran says willing to make a non-aggression pact with the Arab countries

Baghdad, May 26 (efe-epa).- Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Sunday said his country was willing to make a "non-aggression agreement" with...

Millions of Europeans head out for mammoth final day of EU parliament elections

Madrid, May 26 (efe-epa).- Voters across the European Union on Sunday cast their ballots in the final day of European parliamentary elections, a huge...

Busy day for Spanish voters as country holds local, regional and EU elections

Madrid, May 26 (efe-epa).- Spanish voters on Sunday are heading out to polling stations for the second time in less than a month as the country holds...

Influential ex-prime minister of Thailand dies at 98

Bangkok, May 26 (efe-epa).- Former prime minister of Thailand Prem Tinsulanonda, a retired general and he head of the Royal Privy Council, died on Sunday at...

Voting begins in Lithuania for presidential run-off, European elections

Riga, May 26 (efe-epa).- Polling booths in Lithuania opened at 7am (0400 GMT) on Sunday for the second round of presidential polls as well as the European...

Privileges, austerity lead to resignations in Mexican government

By Jose Antonio Torres.

Trump and Abe have first informal chat over golf as trade talks get underway

Tokyo, May 26 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Sunday had his first informal talks with the Japanese prime minister during a round of golf...

Gandhi offers his resignation over electoral debacle, party rejects it

New Delhi, May 25 (efe-epa).- The leader of India's main opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, tendered his resignation on Saturday following his party's...

South African President Ramaphosa takes oath of office

Johannesburg, May 25 (efe-epa).- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in on Saturday as the nation celebrated Africa Day.

Spain's Sánchez looks to consolidate power in regional, EU elections

By Rafael Cañas

EU elections kick off year of comprehensive leadership change in the bloc

By Catalina Guerrero

Trump arrives in Japan on official visit with North Korea, Iran on the agenda

By Agustin de Garcia

Families demand return of missing relatives in Bangladesh

Dhaka, May 25 (efe-epa).- Family members of hundreds of people who disappeared between 2009 and 2019 in Bangladesh, took to the street in capital Dhaka on...

California calls on goats to prevent wildfires

By Marc Arcas

French police search for suspect after blast in Lyon

Paris, May 24 (efe-epa).- Police in the eastern French city are searching for a man on a bicycle after at least eight people were hurt when an explosive...

Senior cleric among three killed in Kabul mosque explosion

Kabul, May 24 (efe-epa).- A bomb blast inside a mosque in the Afghan capital on Friday killed three people, including a prominent religious scholar who was...

Spanish parliament suspends jailed Catalan politicians from role as MPs

Madrid, May 24 (efe-epa).- Spain's parliament on Friday suspended four Catalan politicians currently on trial at the Supreme Court for their alleged...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.