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Climate change

One of the most alarming effects of global climate change is the melting of the ice caps, which threatens to flood many coastal areas all over the world. Using RADARSAT data, experts are able to monitor the ice and its movement.

In an Antarctic mapping mission conducted for NASA, RADARSAT-1 greatly exceeded expectations, providing complete coverage and quality images. It made it possible to produce the first map of the continent, while providing for the first time an overview of the Eastern Antarctic ice streams.

Satellites also collect sea-level data. Variations in sea levels are one of the most visible signs of the occurrence of climate change and can affect many coastal communities.

Overview of the main RADARSAT-1 Earth observation data applications

Text version - on the graphic about the climate change.

Climate change - Every year, roughly 40,000 icebergs migrate through Canada's eastern waters.

Source: Environment Canada, Canadian Ice Service

Resupplying deep-sea exploration platforms and ocean research stations is no small feat. The Canadian RADARSAT satellite allows for regular monitoring of the entire Arctic region to map the distribution of sea ice and ensure that boats take safe and secure routes. The data obtained by RADARSAT have greatly contributed to the updating of Antarctic maps and the monitoring of ice fields in that region. In addition, RADARSAT has increased our knowledge of the various types of ice.

Overview of the main RADARSAT-2 Earth observation data applications for sea ice monitoring
Overview of the main RADARSAT-2 Earth observation data applications to monitor the world's oceans

Each year in Canada, fires burn an average of 25,000 square kilometres of forest, the equivalent of over four times the area of Prince Edward IslandFootnote 1

Space technology has been used around the world for emergency response operations when calamities and natural disasters (floods, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.) have occurred.

Canadian satellites play a leading role in disaster and emergency preparedness management. In natural disasters, the data collected by the RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 satellites help us identify potentially dangerous sites, assess the extent of damage and facilitate rescue operations.

When it comes to saving lives, the observation speed of the Canadian satellites makes it possible to support humanitarian aid and victim assistance operations. As a founding member of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, Canada helps mitigate the effects of natural disasters on human life and natural resources. Images of devastated areas are supplied to international aid organizations, which are then able to send resources immediately to begin rescue and rebuilding efforts.

Established by Canada, the REMSAT (real-time emergency management via satellite) network uses telecommunication and Earth observation satellites to provide real-time digital mapping in emergency situations. The satellite data obtained make it possible not only to predict disasters (such as floods), in order to take the necessary preventive measures while there is still time, but also to deploy resources quickly. For example, by guiding firefighters through a blazing forest fire, the REMSAT network satellites can help save lives, protect real property and preserve natural resources.

Overview of the main RADARSAT-2 Earth observation data applications for disaster management

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