With air temperatures in excess of 10°C above the average for the time of year in parts of Europe, June 2022 has gone down as a record breaker. NASA’s ECOSTRESS instrument, which is carried on the International Space Station, recorded ground temperatures around Prague, Czech Republic, on June 18, 2022. The hottest surfaces are clear to see, but it is also clear to see the cooling effect of parks, vegetation and water.
While these images offer little direct consolation for those suffering the burden of heat, they are helping by providing geospatial information to mitigate effects of heatwaves in the future through planning and managing water resources more efficiently.
For ESA, this particular instrument is important because it is helping in the development of a new Copernicus Sentinel satellite: the Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM) mission. ESA is using the instrument to simulate the data that will eventually be returned by LSTM, which will provide systematic measurements of the temperature of the land surface, promising to be a game-changer for urban planners and farmers, for example.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech