One of the mission needs of Sentinel-3 constellation is directly related to the evaluation of climate change effects on Earth. Indeed the spacecrafts and their payloads haven’t been designed to identify small objects on the ground but to revisit the same region with high frequency. In this respect we have created four different animations in order to understand the changing of some geophysical quantities related to the health of our Planet. Those contents have been processed starting from Copernicus Sentinel-3 data and everyone can interact with them thanks to our new ESB Global Mapping application.
The animation above shows the evolution of the OLCI Global Vegetation Index (OGVI) from Oct 2017 to Oct 2018 and indicates the presence of vegetation through the seasons (the bottom layer is an RGB natural colour composition – NASA blue marble). The vegetation is evaluated thanks to fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation in the plant canopy and is dimensionless. The global vegetation has a key role in understanding the effects of climate change and can be seen together with the other one shown in animation below: the OLCI terrestrial chlorophyll index. The OTCI is estimated basing on the chlorophyll content in terrestrial vegetation and aims at monitoring vegetation condition and health. It is dimensionless as OGVI.
The two time series above are related to terrestrial applications, anyway Sentinel-3 mission offers a large amount of data on ocean colour product side too. Indeed here below we have the evolution of Algal Pigment concentration, computed using OC4Me algorithms and measured in mg*m-3. Algal pigment distribution could be connected to phytoplankton, thus an important aspect of rich waters. Indeed algae help to provide oxygen and food for aquatic organisms.
The last animation is instead derived from a synergic contribution, thus exploiting both land and marine regions. The IWV (Integrated Water Vapour) stands for the total amount of water vapor integrated over an atmosphere column and is expressed in kg*m-2. Water vapor is a critical component of Earth’s climate systems and allows to detect humid and arid regions over the World. Very arid zones are the southern part of Africa and the South America western coast. Indeed those regions face extremely long period of drought and this is linked to a particular phenomenon involving sea currents from the Antarctica, aka the Humbold Current (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humboldt_Current to look into this). This is obviously reflected in the vegetation and chlorofyll index too. The region appearing as one with the higher values of water vapour is the Republic of India. The Himalaya is a real shield between the central part of Asia and India and thus being of the greatest causes of the climate around India and Indochina and the Monsoon genesis. Indeed the dividing line is clear and we can easily distinct the mountain range.
© contains modified Copernicus Sentinel-3A data processed by Earth Starts Beating.