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eChapter selector GavaghanCommunications
An IGOmonit-oringweather andclimatechange
HISTORY OF EUMETSAT, p11.
HISTORY OF EUMETSAT, p9.
p10Introduction'Imagination encircles the world' ... Albert EinsteinWhen Albert Einstein made this simple but profound statement he was obviously not thinking of weather satellites. But how apt his words are in this context. The history of weather satellites covers a relatively short period of just over 40 years. Images of the weather beamed back from space have become a regular and essential part of modern life. We see this in our newspapers, on television or when surfing the Internet. Those who first posed the idea of a global network of meteorological satellites must have been blessed with considerable imagination. The cooperation that indeed permeates the meteorological community certainly encircles the world.What follows is the history of EUMETSAT ,the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, which is the body responsible for Europe's contribution to monitoring the world's weather from space. Although the roots of European satellite meteorology lie in the 1960s when European meteorologists were inspired by achievements in the USA, the Organisation examined in these pages is only 15 years old.Despite its youth, EUMETSAT has a long-term perspective with future satellite programmes at an advanced stage of development for service throughout the coming decades. These satellite programmes will contribute to more timely, accurate weather forecasts and make aviation, agriculture, shipping, road haulage, land management, offshore industrial operations, land-based utility management, to name but a few, both safer and more cost-effective. The satellites will provide knowledge that prompts a local authority to move people to safety or prepare housing for those whom floods might displace.As the first words of EUMETSAT's Convention say: "the safety of populations and the efficient execution of numerous human activities are conditioned by meteorological data...". EUMETSAT's primary objective, therefore, is to take account of this need by establishing, maintaining and exploiting a European system of meteorological satellites.
SEE ALSO| |1. Meteorologists shed political shackles, a review of Declan Murphy's history of the first 25 years of EUMETSAT (2011), by Helen Gavaghan.2. An interview in 2010 with Dr Tillman Mohr, a special advisor to the secretary general of the World Meteorological Organisation, in Science, People & Politics.eChapter| |TOP
The History of EUMETSAT is available in English and French from EUMETSAT©.First printed 2001. ISBN 92-9110-040-4
Eumetsat meteorology meteorological artificial satellitesEuropean Space Agency weather climate policy politics history