Global earth science
Since the launch of the (then) USSR sputnik satellite in 1958, men have been able to look at the earth from a new perspective. The large number of earth - orbiting satellites now in operation provide images of the earth and data on its surface and magnetosphere. This has led to both a new awareness of the environmental problems facing man as well as the means to properly observe and hopefully solve them. Many institutions involved in such research have web sites. A good idea of what is being measured and observed and the type of information they provide can be obtained from the following two brief summaries, one of which is about NASA´s earth observation programme (EOS) and the other which is about the European Space Agency´s Earth Observation Programme.
1. NASA´s Earth Observation System programme. (for full information see the relevant link in 551.).
A major strength of the EOS program is the breadth of geophysical variables for the global Earth system that can be derived from the numerous EOS instruments, such as variables for the land surface, oceans and atmosphere, as well as related biogeochemical variables. The table shows examples of this breadth as viewed through science mission objectives of the rebaselined EOS satellite series.
(From The Scientist´s Guide to The EOSDIS.)
In recent years the use of data logging and transmission of data
through computer networks, including the World Wide Web, has made it
possible to produce a global picture of geological and atmospheric
events as they happen, or shortly afterwards. Thus we can now view
the seismic and volcanic activity of the globe almost in realtime
(see links in 551.2 below), as well as many other environmental
European Space Agency Programme. (direct to online