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 Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

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: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>