Introduction:

 

As a critical input to the decision-making process that will lead to the selection of ESA’s eighth Earth Explorer mission, the Earth observation scientific community is invited to a User Consultation Meeting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland on 15–16 September 2015.

 The two candidate Earth Explorer opportunity missions – CarbonSat and FLEX – have been going through feasibility studies since the end of 2010, conclusions of which are detailed in their corresponding Report for Mission Selection, which will be published in June 2015. Both missions propose to provide key information on different aspects of the carbon cycle.

 The CarbonSat mission aims to determine the global distribution of two of the most important greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: carbon dioxide and methane. Data from the mission would lead to a better understanding of the sources and sinks of these two gases and how they are linked to climate change.

 The Fluorescence Explorer mission, FLEX, aims to provide global maps of vegetation fluorescence, which can be converted into an indicator of actual photosynthetic activity. These data would provide information on plant health and stress, thereby improving our understanding of the global carbon cycle and supporting food security. The FLEX satellite would orbit in tandem with one of the Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellites.

Please note that since space is limited at the meeting, it is advised to register as soon as possible. The deadline for registration is 15 August 2015.

 

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