Europe's dry soils seen from space

Credits: ESA/AOES Medialab

ESAs’ Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) water mission has revealed the negative consequences of the deficit of precipitation that Western Europe is experiencing since February 2011, particularly in France, Germany and the UK.
The lack of sufficient precipitations affects the agricultural sector. It increases food prices and puts industry at risk by drying up shipping routes.

SMOS was launched in 2009 and calculates the amount of moisture held in soils by looking at microwave radiation emitted from the Earth.