New era of global weather observing and climate science

International, next-generation, unifying satellite observatory for global snow and rain measurements – Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory – was successfully launched yesterday from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan marking the beginning of a new era of global weather observing and climate science.

The GPM mission will help advance our understanding of Earth’s water and energy cycles, improve the forecasting of extreme events that cause natural disasters, and extend current capabilities of using satellite precipitation information to directly benefit society.

The GPM mission is the first coordinated international satellite network to provide near real-time observations of rain and snow every three hours anywhere on the globe. The GPM Core…

Over 21 000 birds killed by storms on French coast since the end of January

According to the French national Bird Protection League (LPO), more than 21 000 sea birds have died since the end of January on France’s Atlantic coast due to storms in the worst “slaughter” in a century.

A total of 21 341 dead birds had been counted up to February 24 on the southwestern Basque coast and in Brittany in northwestern France. The count had been carried out over three weekends and involved more than 500 volunteers. This is a provisional toll and the final numbers could be much higher. Nearly 2,800 were housed in bird protection shelters in these areas.

The worst affected species were the Atlantic Puffin, the Common Murre or Common Guillemot and the Razorbill.

Atlantic Puffin or Common Puffin is one of the hardest…