European wildfire damage seen from space

(ORDO NEWS) — Shocking satellite imagery from ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-3 has revealed the extent of wildfires across Western Europe.

The device is located at an altitude of 814.5 km above the Earth’s surface to study the oceans, land, ice and atmosphere of our planet.

It is reported that in Spain, Portugal and southern France, hundreds of people have already died due to abnormal heat.

Photos taken in the southern region of France on July 12 and 17 show smoke and patches of scorched earth, highlighting the extent of the damage caused by the wildfires due to the intense heat.

European wildfire damage seen from space 2

The ESA also released a heat map showing land surface temperatures in southern France, Spain and northern Africa on the morning of July 14th.

In some places, the surface temperature of the Earth has reached a whopping 60°C! Given that the Copernicus Sentinel-3 received this data in the morning, the temperature should only have risen during the day.

European wildfire damage seen from space 3

Why is it important to watch the temperature of the land, not the air

Air temperature is a measurement for our daily weather forecast, and is a measure of how hot the air is above ground. However, the temperature of the Earth’s surface is a measure of how warm the soil will be.

European wildfire damage seen from space 4

“Scientists monitor land surface temperatures because heat rising from the Earth’s surface affects weather and climate patterns,” the ESA explained.

“These measurements are also especially important for farmers assessing how much water their crops need and for urban planners looking to improve heat mitigation strategies, for example.”

European wildfire damage seen from space 5

Many of these shots show wildfires that have evacuated more than 16,000 people in total.

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