The severe droughts and forest fires of recent years underline Mediterranean Europes continuing vulnerability to desertification – 300 000 square kilometres of territory are currently affected, threatening the livelihoods of 16.5 million Europeans. A new satellite-based service is set to provide a continuous monitoring of regions most at risk.
ESAs DesertWatch project involves the development of a desertification monitoring system for the northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in support of responsible regional and national authorities. "Desertification is a common problem across Mediterranean nations, because of circumstances in common: similar historical backgrounds, climatic conditions, land use patterns, cultural characteristics and vegetation types," explained Dr. Mevlut Duzgun of the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forestry, a DesertWatch partner user.
"What we hope to get out of this project is the development of a common, harmonised information system available to all Mediterranean countries affected by desertification processes, making it possible to permanently access the data needed to monitor changes as they occur."
Mariangela D’Acunto | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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