EUMETSAT: Record Breaking 2019

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#Climate change

Published on 23 August 2019

It’s been impossible to ignore the headlines over the summer, bringing news of scorching temperatures, devastating wildfires and worrying predictions for the future of our planet.

What effect do these extreme weather phenomena have on our climate and how do we predict what’s in store for the years to come?

Reports show that our planet is getting warmer, with the Earth having its hottest June and July ever on record in 2019. As a result, the Greenland ice has also melted at record levels. Globally, July 2019 was marginally warmer than the previous hottest month on record (July 2016) which in itself is alarming, as July 2016 was preceded by an El Niño event that increased Pacific sea surface temperatures, generally also raising global averages.

Heatwaves are becoming more commonplace and this has severe impacts on not only human beings, but the planet as a whole. Some examples of how rising temperatures affect the planet are:

  • Sea level rise
  • Extreme weather events (such as tropical storms)
  • Shrinking sea ice

Data shows us some of the outcomes we might expect in the future if this current trend continues. Keeping an eye on the health of the planet and recording its data are extremely important in order to know:

What we’re dealing with as it’s happening, e.g. getting a better idea of how a storm is forming

  • How long that particular event might continue, e.g. tracking wildfire activity
  • What could happen years from now (by comparing new data with old)

With the help of satellite observations, EUMETSAT and its international partners are able to monitor the Earth every single day providing continuous coverage through the watchful eyes of the various instruments on board each spacecraft. There are many people involved in gathering and processing this invaluable data, which is then distributed to users and organisations around the world.

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