In pictures – Drought from space: What do satellites say about Lorraine’s situation?

Satellite images comparing and illustrating the effects of drought and forest fires in France have been widely circulated in recent weeks. But what are they actually saying about the climate crisis? We exhaust Several shots of Lauren as seen from spacecompared and interviewed experts.

First observation: if the comparison between August 2021 and 2022 is spectacular, it should be remembered that last summer was particularly wet, with flood warnings and floods, especially in eastern France, in mid-July. 2021 to 2022 is compared “Compare two extremes” Meteo refers to France.

But it’s a reality. Total rainfall this summer of 2022 is much below average (see map + more). Just as your lawn is very green when you water it or turns yellow when you stop watering, our landscapes, as seen from space, dry out.

Going further in the analysis requires working on the long term. It is the role of the European Copernicus program which processes data from the satellites of the European Space Agency (ESA). Satellites provide detailed images over long periods of time and with regularity.

Heat episodes are intense and recurrent – Clement Albergel, European Space Agency

Know if you are dealing with one “Extreme Weather Events” But punctuality or a “Long-Term Climate Events” Clement Albergel, researcher at the European Space Agency’s Climate Office, explains. However, we see it “Episodes of heat are intense and recurring.” The scientist added, “This is a clear sign of climate change caused by our human activities. Even we can see An acceleration of this extreme event”.

In the video below (source Sentinel-Hub), we can see the evolution of Lake Bowie’s level every August since 2017: 2021 is indeed an exception, with lake levels dropping every summer.

The rising work climate on Earth is clearly visible from space. And we must encourage our behavior to adapt.

The images below are from the Sentinel-2 satellite. They were all taken in August 2021 and August 2022, but not necessarily date to date, for example due to availability of images or cloud cover. Drag the slider to compare Same landscape from 2021 to 2022.

Vosges: Le Thilot, Gerardmer

Since August 8, the Vosges department is partially on drought alert.

The Moselle: Metz

Since late July, the Moselle furrow has been placed on heightened alert.

Meurthe-et-Moselle: Nancy and Baccarat

Since 12 August, most of Meurthe-et-Moselle has moved into “crisis” phase. River levels are minimum: Among the 38 stations that monitor river flow in the department, 50% reported a completely dry river.

Verdun and the Muses

whether “The situation in the department is generally less alarming than that of the neighbors.”According to Muse Prefecture, “Aquifer conditions are deteriorating and drought conditions are likely to persist for a long time”. Part of the region has reached high alert thresholds since late July.

Map: Rainfall in July 2021 and 2022 in Lorraine

These maps compare July 2022 and 2021 precipitation to normal in Lorraine. “Maps show proportions of normal” Meteo France explains, “When the displayed ratio is greater than 100, the period considered is surplus (or rainier than normal); when the ratio is less than 100, the period is drier than normal.”

Graphically speaking, the more intense the blue, the more above normal we are in rainfall, the more we are in the red, the more we are in deficit.

Comparison of 2021 and 2022 July precipitation relative to normal.
Meteo France

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