Envisat concludes a busy second year in orbit

itu water samples and online detectors, as well as with remote sensing," says Dr Cristina Rodrguez-Benito of Mariscope Chilena. "MERIS images demonstrated the presence of blooms from the middle of December.

"Some show intense patches in several areas, indicating the blooms do not only originate locally but may be influenced by meso-scale phenomena. The blooms are already affecting some of the main aquaculture companies and losses of fish have started."

Salmon were found starved of oxygen within their cages off the big island of Chilo. In addition, more than four hundred people were reported poisoned by contaminated shellfish.

"Beyond our current scientific study, the next step would be to secure delivery of near real time products within 24 or 48 hours after satellite acquisition for integration into an operational and commercial service."

Images of the year

Throughout the last year Envisat has been returning a steady stream of striking images and scientific data showing the ever-changing face of our planet. Some of the most memorable results of the year include:

The splitting of the gigantic B-15 iceberg off the Antarctic coast, captured by a sequence of ASAR images as it was ripped in two by winter storms.

In September MERIS acquired Hurricane Isabel looming up on the United States coast, while sister satellite ERS-2 mapped the wind fields powering the storm.

During Europe's long hot summer of 2003 Envisat's Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) showed the Mediterranean 'hot flush' that occurred as a result.

In the aftermath of the worst Portuguese forest fires for two decades, MERIS images mapped burn scar areas, quickly quantifying the overall scale of damage done.

MERIS imagery showed the current state of the fast-shrinking Aral Sea in Central Asia, as well as producing a spectacular composite image of the entire planet Earth.


Contact: Henri Laur
European Space Agency

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