Project gallery @home edition 2020

Climate Detectives @home is an ESA education project that challenges, students aged 12 – 18 years, and families to monitor our planet from home by looking from above.

From their vantage point in space, astronauts and satellites can see both the beauty and the fragility of our planet. You can also observe Earth from home and work like a real Earth scientist!

Participants were asked to choose an Earth observation image, using the EO Browser online tool, the ESA Earth Observation Image of the week gallery or the ESA astronauts’ Flickr accounts. In addition to the image, participants had to provide a short description linking the image to a climate problem.


Project title: Siberia is burning

Category: Vegetation and forestry

Author: Vianu Climate Detectives Student’s age: 14 years old

Image source: EO Browser


I took this image captured by the Sentinel-2 satellite on the 31st of July 2020 with the help of a custom script that allows people to view fires from above. The picture shows a recent wildfire in Verkhoyansk, a town in the Siberian region of Russia. Normally one of the coldest spots on Earth [lowest temperature: −67.8 °C], Verkhoyansk broke its all-time record on the 20th of June 2020, reaching 38°C. But what are the wide-scale effects of such a climate issue?

To visualize the size of the damage, imagine that the burned area in Siberia since the beginning of 2020 is bigger than the surface of Greece. Besides vegetation fires, the heatwave resulted in loss of permafrost, and an invasion of pests. By definition, permafrost is ground that remains frozen for at least two years and also contains skeletons of prehistoric animals. Therefore, as permafrost thaws, the bodies decompose and great amounts of carbon gases preaching global warming are released. This is a huge threat not only to the small city, but to the whole planet, as temperatures increase globally, possibly resulting in melting of glaciers and rise in sea levels.

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Images and descriptions are submitted by the teams/individuals and they take the full responsibility of the shared data.

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