Importance of Natural Resources

Climate Detectives – Final event

[Music] hello welcome to the final online event of the climate detectives school project 2018-2019. I’m Alana Bartolini from the ESA education office and with me is ESA scientist Anne Gret Straume. Shortly we will hear more about her work and how she joined ESA. We are here at the European Space Research and Technology Center in the Netherlands. This is the largest center of the European Space Agency and it is here that most ESA projects are born. Today is a very special day: We celebrate the completion of the climate detectives school project 2018-2019. We are joined live by more than 350 students from 30 teams. If you’re watching life go to and use the code to ask your questions to Anne Grete. My colleague Fatima Pinto will moderate your questions and later we will answer some of them. Hello Fatima. Hello, I’m here with Paxy our ESA Education mascot “hello everyone” we are looking forward to receive your questions. This was the first time that we ran the climate detectives project. In total 118 teams from 16 ESA Member States and Canada, which is a cooperating State, applied to this project. Before we show you some of the highlights of the first edition I would like to introduce you to the ESA scientist Anne Grete Straum. She has worked with the Aeolus wind mission and she has also been involved in other Earth Observation missions for ESA. Welcome and thank you for being here. Thank you very much for having me here and I’m looking so much forward to see what exciting results have come out from the school projects. Today we’re very excited to hear about the Aeolus mission and your work at ESA but first we’ll show a short video to introduce the Aeolus mission. [Music] what’s the wind blowing perhaps blowing somewhere else over there maybe or up there. Well without the wind there would be neither weather nor a lot of other things. In ancient Greece the God Aeoulus cause the winds to blow across Europe. Later the great seafarers took advantage of the strong trade winds to sail more quickly to the Caribbean. They also knew about the horse latitudes, the windless doldrums at the equator and about the stiff westerlies in the North Atlantic that they used to sail back to Europe. Nowadays aircraft use the jet stream around the pole to gain extra speed towards the east while avoiding them in the opposite direction. Wind is created when the heat of the Sun causes the air in the tropics to rise and then move towards the poles in between the air moves in all directions due to warmer and colder spots and the uneven landscape. On top of this the wind is also deflected by Earth’s rotation. This is called the Coriolis force. This all leads to a constant intermingling of rising and falling drafts over cold warm flat and mountainous terrain and is in fact the reason why the weather is so difficult to predict. Nowadays meteorologists know quite a lot about wind in our atmosphere, about the invisible currents and streams pushing masses of air from here to there, from rising rapidly to descend again somewhere this is what gives us high and low pressure areas, tornadoes and storms. This is what brings us rain clouds and cloudless at least in theory. Sometimes the wind is really simple, when flags flutter, when an aircraft Wiggles or when you could barely stand upright at top of a mountain but wind is invisible, up to now. The European Space Agency, ESA, has built a satellite to measure winds from space in a new way. It’ll help us understand winds better and make forecasts more accurate. Aeoulus is the first research satellite that uses a laser to measure the wind all around the world. To do so it sends a laser beam down into the atmosphere. The laser light hits the air molecules, ice crystals and dust particles in the atmosphere, and a small portion of it is reflected and captured by the satellite’s telescope. This allows that movement of the air to be measured continuously and comprehensively from 30 kilometers altitude all the way down to the ground. There’s never been anything like this. It’s no easy task. It took hundreds of engineers and scientists nearly 20 years to develop this one-of-a-kind instrument but now it’s finished and launched into orbit. It’s data will revolutionize our understanding of the wind because our knowledge about the wind and how it changes is not very accurate. For example, the jet streams key role in summer weather or the polar currents and their influence on the climate and on the extent of the ozone hole in winter. The winds over the oceans aren’t measured everywhere and the world’s 13,000 weather stations on dry land aren’t distributed it unevenly. By measure Globe, Aeolus is filling this gap. Is not without reason that scientists around the world, weather reporters, climb wind turbine operators, shipping companies aeroplane pilots, and countless other users are eagerly awaiting its first data. So this was a great introduction, could you tell us about your role in the mission. So I’m a meteorologist, I have a PhD in meteorology so that means that I have studied the atmosphere and how it works and I’ve also been working with transport of air pollution greenhouse gases and other aspects that are important for the atmosphere and since I’ve been working at ESA I have indeed focused on this wind mission and the measurements of the wind and my role is really to make sure that the scientists and the users get what they need. That they get the type of measurements that they need and that they can use them for their research and for weather forecasting. So I’m running scientific activities; I’m supervising this and putting all this information together to make sure that we can get out of the mission what we need. Okay, so we have here a picture which is showing some of the early data from the Aeolus mission could you explain to us what we’re looking at here. So this picture is showing winds measured by Aeoulus on a very windy day on the 10th of March this year. So it shows on this picture the satellite how its measuring from the North Atlantic going passing England and going all the way down to the tropics. And it measures the winds that said in the video before from the ground up to 25 kilometers which is shown here on the vertical and the blue boxes over there they’re showing where the winds are very strong. So you can see the strong winds at the Jetstream levels which is about 10 kilometers in this picture but in this day the strong winds extended all the way down to the surface giving very strong winds all over Western Europe’s and some problems of people who are working outside. So this is actually what we could capture with this satellite on this day. Wow I have a prop here. I’m wondering if you can maybe show us how the satellite actually took this picture. Sure so here is a globe and what the satellite does its flying from pole to pole like this and as it is flying the earth is rotating on under its beneath so that means that the satellite can make measurements all around the globe. And under this particular day the satellite was starting to measure here up close to the polar areas and going down towards the tropics and then it can capture these very strong winds coming from the west into Europe and measure it. Great thanks very much for explaining that for us. So you joined ESA in 2004, could you tell us about some of the other projects that you have been involved in? The most of the time I’ve been working on the Aeolus mission but I’ve also done some activities in support also for instance of the air quality emissions and greenhouse gas missions coming. There is an example here on the screen of what is measured for instance with one of our Sentinel missions called Sentinel-5P and it’s measuring air pollution such as nitrogen dioxide, formaldehydes ,sulfur dioxide which gives raise to acid rain for instance. It also measures ozone so you could look at the ozone hole and its development, but also greenhouse gases such as methane and pollutants such as carbon monoxide. Quite a lot of data. Exactly, I’ve also been working on some future missions. For example on one that’s going to measure ozone our missions that are going to look at the radiation and clouds in the atmosphere. Great, well some of our climate detective teams are the young scientists of tomorrow they’re aged between 8 and 15 years old. Do you remember when you were that age what were some of your interests? So when I was that age at least I knew that I liked mathematics and physics and then chemistry in school. I grew up on the western part of Norway and in this part you get all the weather coming in from the Atlantic’s, lots of rain and lots of wind and I remember I was very fascinated but wondering how is the weather working; how can we make a good weather forecast. In this time period also we had the discovery of the ozone hole and there was also a lot of air pollution and large international treaties to try and limit air pollution in Europe. We’re coming up in the time when I was the child in the 70s and the 80s so these were all topics that I found very interesting and very important at the time. So then how did you decide that you wanted to go on and study meteorology? Can you tell us a bit about your university experience. So I actually when I was in school didn’t really know what I wanted to do but I I knew that I wanted to do something which had to do with physics and mathematics. So I started to study that at the University and as I was there I saw the different types studies being presented to the students and meteorology was one of those that were represented and they looked very exciting because then I could work with weather but I could also work with climate and air pollution and I found that fascinating. So that really made me choose that study. And then what were your career steps after you finished your university degree before you came to join ESA? So when I finished my university degree I’d met my husband and he found a job in the Netherlands and I decided well why not go abroad and have some experience there. So I came with him and started to work at the University here in the Netherlands. So I first started to work with a model which is modeling air pollution and then greenhouse gases and how they change then I went on to work at the meteorological Institute in the Netherlands where I was looking at the effect of changes in there. Also on levels up in the stratosphere and after that again I went to the Dutch research Space Research Organisation working with measurements of greenhouse gases from space. Many different jobs before I started to work for ESA. Okay that’s great. Speaking of working at ESA, what would you say is your most rewarding aspect of working here? Besides the working with really exciting and novel technology projects, really new type of measurements are being made with our satellites; I also enjoy a lot the cooperation that we have; We have an enormous team across Europe of engineers, of scientists and also inside of ESA and even beyond Europe we have many many researches across the world who are working with our data and helping us to validate our data and make sure that our data are correct and as good as they can be. And this is fantastic, to work with top class specialists from across the world. That’s very very rewarding. And do you have any suggestions for our students, for their future careers? So I would say if you like research and discovery really go after these things it’s so important to have a job and work for things that you like to do and things that you’re good in. Having a job that is well-paid is really not the thing; it’s to enjoy your work and to keep on discovering and to work with research is very rewarding. So I would encourage all the pupils to continue with that. That’s great, thank you very much for your answers. Let’s now see if the teams have any questions. So we’ll turn over to Fatima. Fatima do we have any curious teams today? yes, so far we have one question from one team. So don’t forget if you are watching live go to and use the code to ask your question to Anne Grete. So far the question that we have is about El Nino. One team is asking if is it possible to detect the effect of El Nino on the wind patterns. So indeed the El Nino gives you different wind patterns over the tropics or the Pacific tropic, the tropical areas of the Pacific in particular and the Aeolus mission will be able to measure these changes in the winds. So indeed we will be able to see that when an El Nino is occurring. Thank you. We don’t have any questions from the teams but I have one question for you which would be about what are the upcoming missions at ESA regarding Earth Observation. So we have several missions in the pipeline. One which will be flying soon is one looking at clouds and radiation and this is of course very important to know the role of clouds and also air particles called aerosols on climate and climate change. Another one is looking at the Earth’s surface at the biomass which is trees and plants and their role in the carbon cycle which is also very very important and we also have some future candidate missions where some of them are sure to fly some not and these look into different areas such as ocean currents, polar areas the changes in sea ice, etc, so there are many very exciting missions in the pipeline to be prepared. Thank you. Thanks very much Fatima. So now we’re going to highlight some moments of the project and show some of the great work that the climate detectives did. You all started your journey as climate detectives many months ago, in October 2018. You identified important local problems and their relation to climate. Scientists were reading your investigation plans and gave you feedback. At this time we would like to thank all of the scientists that were involved in this project. In January the teams started collecting data to investigate their local problems. In February, we organized a webinar with Dr. Natalie Douglas in which she explained how scientists investigate climate and she also gave some ideas and tips to the teams about what we can do to protect our planet’s climat. Two weeks ago it was a very special day for four climate detective teamS. They had the chance to travel to Milan to the world’s biggest conference on Earth Observation – the living planet symposium. They were the winners of the LPS 2019 climate detectives school award and they had the chance to present their work at this conference to an audience of Earth Observation experts. Let’s take a look at a recap of this great day. [Music] [Music] The contact with real scientists is very important for young pupils already because when they see the scientists at work they will find out that there is these possibilities for them in the future. [Music] [Music] It was very interesting to study the vegetation on our own home island and we have learned how to use different research methods. [Music] [Music] I also learned to better understand the environment where we live, to respect it and preserve it. [Music] [Music] Looks like a great day So Anne Grete, have you attended the symposium and why do you think that it’s important for scientists to participate in conferences like this? It’s indeed, I was also at the Living Planet Symposium in Milan and it was a fantastic event with more than 4,000 people from all over the world also attending this great conference. And we had scientists from so many disciplines in within Earth Observation looking at the Earth’s surface ocean and the atmosphere and people came together to present the latest results from their research using the ESA mission observations. For instance, latest research in air pollution seen from the Sentinel 5P mission or other recent results from other missions looking at the Earth’s surface and it was really great and important to get together and share this information in order to understand our environment and climate better and to progress. Sounds like a really exciting event! So all of the scientists at the LPS were really impressed with the work of our students we know that all of you have worked hard to analyse the data collected try to get some conclusions and to make a difference. Congratulations to all of the teams! Unfortunately we cannot present all of the student projects right here but we want to invite all teams and everyone watching to visit our platform where the student teams have shared their projects. The topics investigated range from air pollution, deforestation, acid rain, wildfires and water resources to the investigation of extreme weather events. A few teams investigated air pollution. This is a topic that really concerns our detectives. Eco team Ana Aslan, from Romania, investigated the air quality in their hometown for four months and they started a campaign called “together for a cleaner air”. Within this campaign they designed a questionnaire and found out that the people in their city considered that they are not sufficiently well informed about the air pollution in their hometown. Other teams also investigated this topic. These include: Fortuna team from Romania; Talos team from Greece; Air rescues team also from Romania; and Detectives do clima from Portugal. Anne Grete, can you tell us a bit more about how we can investigate air pollution from space? So investigating air pollution from space gives you really the possibility to look in a much bigger scale to air pollution and what you can see in your hometown and when you do measurements. Measurements on ground are very important to see how the air quality is at the spot, where you are and also in the surroundings. But with the satellite you can look over the whole world, you can look into any country around the world, over the oceans, in remote areas, everywhere! So satellite measurements are really there to be able to follow air pollution and how it develops from day to day, all over the globe and it really gives you a global total picture on how air pollution is and how it develops. Thank You Anne Grete. The detectives do Clima team that we’ve just highlighted is one of our youngest teams participating in the project. Together with the following teams: Astro nerds from Greece; Climate agents also from Greece; Climate detective for Cantacuzini, Romania and Ilab detectives from Italy. This team has a special and very important message: “please do not think that one single person’s contribution is not making a difference”. Congratulations to all of our young scientists. Now let’s talk about some of our projects that looked at drought. The climate Busters team investigated the problem of drought and the problems that occur from south winds in their hometown Heraklion, in the island of Crete in Greece. Anne Grete, could you explain to us how wind is related to climate? So, as we saw in the video about the Aeolus satellite at the start, winds are really created from temperature differences on the Earth, so the difference in temperature between the warm tropics and the polar areas and that’s again changed by the Earth rotation and also by the landscape. So if we are having a warming of the Earth and higher temperatures and we’re having a melting of the poles, etc, we get a different temperature, different distribution on the Earth and that also leads to changes to the large-scale wind patterns such as the Jetstream that is going across Europe and which is so decisive for the type of weather we have, whether we get rain or whether we have more drier periods. So really to understand the link between climate change and how the local weather is changing that’s one of the biggest unknowns in climate research today and we trying to get behind that and understand how that link is in full detail to be able to say something about how weather change in the future. So some of our other teams also investigated the problem of drought and possible consequences of global warming like wildfires and extreme weather events. The Rafina space team one, of the winners of the living planet symposium climate detectives award, did a study on the impact of wildfire on the 23rd of July 2018 on Rafina’s local climate using satellite data provided by ESA. We also had two teams from Romania investigating tornadoes: the climate magicians and tornadoes researchers. Anne Grete, do you think that more extreme weather events are going to become more frequent due to the changing climate? That’s a very good question. It’s difficult to prove that but what we have clearly seen of the pre alive past few years is that the amount of extreme weather winds have actually been increasing. So for instance, we’ve seen more hot days over the US and over Europe over the last years, really a clear increase in that. We’ve seen increasing periods of drought and we have also seen increased events of very heavy rain which is also what we believe is caused by climate change. So really it’s very important to look into this in instances and understand that in full detail and only by doing more measurements and improve our models, we will be able to predict more accurately into the future how these extreme events will develop and also whether we will have for instance stronger and more severe hurricanes or other extreme weather phenomena in the future. Thank you Anne Grete. Some teams investigated wheather by doing their own measurements of air temperature and precipitation, and some teams investigated historical climate data. These teams are: Dimond 502 from Romania; Da Vinci climate team, from Italy; Small researchers, from Romania; 007 license to change, from Italy; Music climatologists, from Greece; Promoteo 2018, from Italy; and C1-Cattaneo Space Center also from Italy. Anne Grete, this is a recurrent question but we think that it’s very important, could you explain to us the difference between weather and climate? So weather and climate are quite interlinked but you can think of it like this: weather it’s what’s happening on the day to day basis, within the next few days or the next week. When we talk about climate and climate change that’s how the average weather is changing on the timescale of 30 years or longer. So that means all the summers for instance getting generally drier or wetter are we getting higher temperatures and it’s the local climate and weather changing to give us a different type of environment. And this is more what what climate prediction is about. To predict the average weather and temperature and precipitation into the future. Thank you for this clarification. Before we check with Fatima if teams have any more questions for you, we would like to highlight a few more projects. The Ciencia C4 from Spain explored the influence of a thermal power plant and a waste management plant on the landscape and in the climate of their region. Two teams focus their investigation on trees, their relevance to the climate and the topic of deforestation. These are Park Observers from Germany and Detectives Waldorf from Romania. The ehand team from Italy investigated mountains and glaciers as sentinels of climate change. They have done their project in collaboration with research institutions and universities from their region. We have highlighted here some of the projects that the teams shared in the climate detectives platform. We know that more teams will share or have shared their projects. Unfortunately we could not show all of them but we are really impressed with what all of the teams have done. If you want to see more projects visit our website at as more projects will still be published.
We are getting close to the end of this event but we still have one surprise for you. Before that and before we conclude, let’s check with Fatima if the teams have any more questions. Fatima. Yes so we have here some curious teams. So we have three questions. The first one is also related with climate, with El Nino and the question is: what effect will climate change have on the El Nino? That’s a very good question and I don’t think that the scientists know that really in full detail today. That’s one of the big research topics. What they have seen though and what they were predicting is that we probably will have more frequent El Ninos in a changing climate. This is what they expect but it’s really a topic for research where a lot of scientists are looking into this. Very interesting, perhaps our scientists, our young scientists ,will explore and discover more about that. So now we have one question from team Promoteo. They are asking if can there be a relationship between an increase in rainfall and an increase in temperature. Can this relationship be influenced by the fact that you are close to the sea? It’s a very good question. So when you have rising temperatures the atmosphere actually have more possibility to store water vapor because the temperatures go up you can store more humidity so we know that this also can cause more heavy rain events but it’s not only the fact that you have more humidity alone it also has to do with things like air pollution and the triggering of clouds formation and other factors that triggers cloud formation. also including changes in the winds actually. so but generally we are expecting that the increasing temperatures and more humidity will give at least more heavier precipitation events. Thank you. I think the next question perhaps it’s also similar. So we have two more questions. So this next one is so: we already know that the temperatures influences the type of rain, so if we have snow if we have rain, but also influences the quantity, the amount of rain that we have? Is there a relation between the temperature and the amount of rain? Well the amount of rain also depends on where you have the low pressure systems. If you’ve heard about that or see on television, it’s really this pressure systems where you get the cloud formations and the heavy rain which is formed on the so called polar front which is where along the path where the jetstream is flowing and changes to that also will change where these low pressures form, how strong they are and where they will travel. So whether we get more or less rain depends not only on the temperature but also a lot on other factors such as how the large-scale wind systems are changing and also the cloud formation around that. It’s a very complicated question but there is a clear relationship as well between, for sure. Thank you, we have really good questions from our teams. So the next one is about if it’s possible to build something like a a macro structure in space to change winds and also to avoid climate change. Well to change the winds actually I think the main factor there is really the weather itself and it’s the temperature. So I think to build something to change the winds.. you can change the winds locally by putting up a a big screen you will change how the winds is flowing past that screen but the general weather you cannot change by a structure in space, I think. But what was the second part of the question. To change winds and to avoid climate change. Yes, so avoiding climate change there we know that what really makes a difference is to emit less climate gases, greenhouse gases, such as CO2 and methane, but also it’s important that we have a clean environment. So really that’s the big message is to reduce emissions of these gases and that also includes on how we do our agriculture activities because we know that methane for instance also comes from a food production and cows, etc, so it’s really our human activities on Earth which will be important and to change that, to make sure that we can moderate or avoid that climate change will happen too much. Yes, thank you for the message. Very important that also depend on us. So we have just a final question now, also related once again with your work at ESA. We have one team from Greece that they are asking which of the projects that you have been involved was the most challenging for you. That must be the Aeolus mission, I believe. We started to build it back in early 2000. It took in total 17 years to get it ready because we are using lasers on board to measure the wind section which is quite funky but it was also very challenging using lasers in there with UV energy that we are emitting into the Earth and measuring the winds. So this was really really challenging but extremely exciting. When we finally finished every thing and everything was ready and we launched it into space it was a great moment and a great relief to all of the hundreds of people who’ve been working to make this happen. Thank you, thank you also our teams for the nice questions. Thank you Fatima and thank you Anne Grete for being here today helping us celebrate with our teams and also for inspiring them. Would you like to send a final message to our climate detective temas? Yes, I would thank you very much for having me on the show today and I would just like to encourage all of you students or pupils all over Europe to keep on discovering, keep on working with science. We need good people in the future to keep on working with space observation satellites but also to work in climate change. So please come as a young generation and help us work on these things. Thank you very much. So it’s now time to show a message to our climate detectives from a very special person. A person who has been to space and has had the chance to see our planet from a very unique perspective. Climate detectives get ready to listen to a message just for you from ESA astronaut Tim Peake [Music] hello climate detective teams i’m european space agency astronaut Tim Peake. Today i’d like to send a big thank you to all of you for taking part in the climate detective school project and for what you’ve been doing to investigate and protect Earth’s climate. When we astronauts are on the International Space Station flying over 400 kilometers above Earth we can see it from a unique perspective and we realize how beautiful and fragile our planet is. When we’re in space we dedicate some of our free time to taking pictures from the cupola which is an observatory with a clear view of Earth and from there we can see the impacts of human activities and of climate change and we realize the importance of taking care of our planet. I know that you’ve been investigating many important issues related with Earth’s climate, wildfires, deforestation and also global warming, it’s effects in your local communities. Is really great to see many teams working hard to make a difference and trying to tackle the problems of climate change. So congratulations to all the students and teachers that participated in the project and I hope you’ll all continue to make a difference to protect Earth’s climate. So we’d like to send a big thank you to Tim Peake for sending us that great message. Also thank you again Anne Grete for joining us today. And ESA education would also like to send a big congratulations to all of the teams for taking part in this project. Thank you for inspiring us! Good bye to everyone and remember keep making a difference! [Music]

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