EUMETSAT launches youth education web site
EUMETSAT has launched a new youth education web site, the Learning Zone, to stimulate interest among young people and teachers in the role of satellites in monitoring the weather and climate
Aimed at 12-18 year olds, the Learning Zone uses text, new video animations and satellite imagery to tell the story of how satellites are used to monitor the weather, atmospheric composition, the oceans and climate.
The site highlights the many roles of today's advanced weather and climate monitoring satellites, which range from collecting observations for forecasting weather and ocean circulation, to monitoring air quality over cities, tracking volcanic ash or Saharan dust storms and even monitoring rising sea levels.
There is also an easily understandable introduction to EUMETSAT's weather satellites which includes a new interactive animation that lets users explore the satellites and learn about their on-board instruments.
EUMETSAT's Director-General, Alain Ratier, said, "We hope the Learning Zone web site will be a useful resource that encourages people to learn more about the space-based monitoring of our weather and climate."
As the site is based on a WordPress blogging platform, it will be regularly updated by a team of EUMETSAT bloggers, who will talk about the satellites, the data they collect and the day-to-day job of operating them.
The site is intended to be a "homework hub", so it also provides extensive links to other educational resources, including teaching portals of National Weather Services and other international bodies.
The Learning Zone was launched on World Meteorological Day, which is celebrated every year on 23 March. In addition to commemorating the formation of the World Meteorological Organization in 1950, the day also highlights the huge contribution that National Meteorological and Hydrological Services make to the safety and well-being of society.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 29 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and two Cooperating States (Bulgaria and Serbia).
EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8, -9 and -10 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean.
EUMETSAT also operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Metop-B polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, launched on 17 September 2012, became prime operational satellite on 24 April 2013. It replaced Metop-A, the first European polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, which was launched in October 2006. Metop-A will continue operations as long as its available capacities bring benefits to users.
The Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite, launched on 20 June 2008 and exploited jointly with NOAA, NASA and CNES, added monitoring of sea state, ocean currents and sea level change to the EUMETSAT product portfolio.
The data and products from EUMETSAT's satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and the global climate.