chapter  4
33 Pages

Observation from space: the view from above

Our planet as seen from above, apparently suspended in space and shrouded by huge swirling clouds, is a familiar image revealing dramatically that our world is dominated by weather (Figure 4.1). That we can see this image at all is a product of astonishing scientific achievements. Earth Observation technologies enable us to see familiar sky scenes in entirely new ways, make it possible to visualize the invisible, and help reduce scientific uncertainties that presently reduce the reliability of weather forecasts and climate models. This chapter begins by examining a weather image, moves on to explain the science behind space-based observations, and then considers the view from above.