Case Studies


Part I highlighted a range of environmental issues and challenges which face our ‘planet under pressure’ in the 21st century, including those arising from climate change and expected increase in human population.

This section highlights how Earth observation satellite programmes support both the information needs of the main Earth system challenges and more immediate needs for information in the social, economic, and environmental domains.


In order to illustrate the importance of Earth observations from satellite, five case studies
are presented:

  • global carbon cycle;
  • water resources;
  • ocean observations, including of El Niño;
  • ozone monitoring;
  • managing natural disasters.

In each case, the issues affecting society and the anticipated future consequences are discussed. The need for information and the role of Earth observation satellites is explained, including an indication of future plans.