Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESA participating in UN’s Montreal summit working for a better atmosphere

25.11.2005


Delegations from 190 nations will attend next week’s United Nations summit in Montreal, Canada, to begin negotiating a post-Kyoto Protocol strategy to restrict emissions of heat-trapping gases that drive climate change. Joining them will be ESA, to share results from satellite-based services developed to support the Protocol.



More than 10 000 representatives of national governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations are expected at the first meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 1), held in conjunction with the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This joint summit takes place in Montreal’s Palais des Congrès from 28 November to 9 December.

ESA will be manning an exhibit throughout this historic summit to communicate its own Kyoto-supporting services, and is jointly hosting a special side event together with national partner end-users.


This is the first COP since the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC entered into force in 16 February 2005. The Protocol commits its signatories to reduce levels of greenhouse gases – chief among them carbon dioxide – believed to be increasing global warming.

Around 25 billion tonnes of extra carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere annually by human activities, mainly through wildfires, land clearance and the burning of forest fuels. The total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by a quarter since the start of the Industrial Revolution 150 years ago.

Developed countries in general are required to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5% compared to reference year 1990 between 2008 and 2012, with the European Union committed to a reduction of 8%. One of the main goals of this summit is to agree methods and targets for emissions reductions beyond 2012, when the first phase of the Protocol runs out.

However there is another way as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions to clear the air of excess carbon dioxide, and the Kyoto Protocol takes account of this. Plant growth absorbs carbon from the atmosphere, so the Protocol includes a mechanism for signatories to offset emissions against increases in the stock of carbon stored in vegetation, especially forests.

What the Protocol requires for such offsetting to take place is annual reporting of land use changes – especially afforestation, reforestation and deforestation (ARD) - associated with shifts in the terrestrial carbon stock, to be carried out at the national level.

This is where ESA comes in: the Agency has a long-standing commitment to extend the use of satellite data beyond science into operational applications, and in particular to strengthen the effectiveness of international conventions. So work began on the Kyoto Inventory service for land cover mapping back in November 2002, well before the Kyoto Protocol had been ratified.

The work being supported through the Agency’s Data User Programme, imagery from satellites including ERS, Landsat, Proba and SPOT were utilised to produce forest maps, land use and land use change maps covering 1990, 1997 and 2002 across 200 234 square kilometres of European territory, working with national end-users responsible for Kyoto reporting in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

This three-year project has just concluded, but the work continues, and is being scaled up, within a new project called GSE Forest Monitoring, whose consolidation phase began in October.

This fully operational forest and land use monitoring service has extended its European core users to Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Russia and Sweden – as well as offering pan-continental coverage to the European Environmental Agency. Beyond Europe, the service is working with countries including Indonesia, Namibia and South Africa, and includes the evaluation of Kyoto-authorised Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) afforestation to foster inward investment and sustainable development in developing countries.

GSE Forest Monitoring is being carried out as part of the initial portfolio of services offered through Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), a joint initiative between ESA and the European Commission (EC) to build a global monitoring capability in support of Europe’s environmental and sustainable development goals.

As well as maintaining an exhibit throughout the COP to communicate Kyoto Inventory and Forest Monitoring activities, ESA will also be presenting a demonstrator on GMES projects with the EC.

On 29 November Stephen Briggs, Head of ESA’s Earth Observation Science and Applications Department has been invited by organisers to give one in a series of Climate Talks to be webcast from the UNFCCC COP 11 website, on the subject of ’How the climate benefits from space’ (available via the right navigation bar link).

The dedicated ESA side event takes place on the evening of the following day in the Churchill River Room of the Congres, with national end users of both projects participating to present results. In addition ESA will be participating in a Canadian Space Agency thematic day at the Canadian pavilion on 8 December.

Mariangela D’Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEML8FULWFE_environment_0.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>