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ESA helps make summer in the city more bearable
Date:8/27/2009

e second aircraft, operated by Aerophoto Ltd, Greece, carried an air turbulence temperature pressure and relative humidity system.

Meanwhile, data were acquired from space by several satellites, including ESA's ERS and Envisat satellites, NASA's Landsat-5, Terra and Aqua platforms, the NOAA constellation, Eumetsat's Meteosat Second Generation-2 and the joint NASA-CNES satellite Calipso. At the same time, ground teams took atmospheric and radiometric measurements.

Prof. Kostas Kourtidis from the Democritus University of Thrace, who was in charge of the ground measurements, said, "The analysis of the dataset will allow us to better understand how urban heat islands vary in the city of Athens. This should help us come one step closer to the operational forecasting of urban temperatures at high spatial resolution." A further five flights and associated ground measurements were conducted during the ensuing week, while the Athens weather obligingly reached over 36C. In agreement with the National Technical University of Athens and the Scientific Committee of the Acropolis Archaeological Site, the ground teams took extra in situ measurements on the Acropolis itself.

Once analysed, the dataset will address a number of specific objectives; namely the quality assessment of urban heat island information products, the development of urban heat wave forecasting techniques, the development of appropriate alert systems and the detailed study of the phenomenon's spatial variability in metropolitan areas, which may help improve urban planning in the future to reduce the effects of heat waves.

Dr Maria Varinou, from the General Secretariat for Civil Protection, is one of the users involved in the urban heat island project. She considered that the data collected during the campaign will be of great practical interest for the city of Athens, "Detailed mapping of urban temperatures and the associated heat stress for the citizens can help us positi
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Contact: Robert Meisner
robert.meisner@esa.int
39-069-418-0874
European Space Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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