Satellite improves weather predictions

25th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

25 September 2007, AMSTERDAM (AFP) - The European polar satellite MetOp-A, launched last year, is already improving weather predictions and will soon help global environmental and security monitoring, scientists said in Amsterdam on Monday.

25 September 2007

AMSTERDAM (AFP) - The European polar satellite MetOp-A, launched last year, is already improving weather predictions and will soon help global environmental and security monitoring, scientists said in Amsterdam on Monday.

Scientists from Europe and the United States met in Amsterdam for a joint conference of the European meteorological satellites EUMETSAT and the American Meteorological Society, to discuss their experiences.

Even though the MetOp-A satellite, which orbits the poles, only took up regular service in May this year, it is already improving the way weather is predicted because of its "unprecedented accuracy and resolution of different variables such as temperature and humidity, wind speed (and) ozone," EUMETSAT's director general Lars Prahm told a news conference.

Garry Davis, of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who works together with EUMETSAT, said the MetOp-A satellite provided the "biggest step forward in 30 years."

The high resolution images of the satellite down to one kilometre have helped NOAA predict and track storms and wildfires better, he said.

"In 2006 the US suffered through its worst wildfire season, with more than 10 million acres being burned and more than 96,000 wildfires and we are on track for another rough year," Davis said.

"Working with EUMETSAT we have been able to bring out new data to help minimize the damage of these wildfires."

[Copyright AFP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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