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Contrails Over Jutland Peninsula, Denmark and Germany

57.0N 8.8E

June 5th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Clouds MODISTerra

Denmark – June 4th, 2013

Condensation trails create criss-crossed lines over the Jutland Peninsula (center), the northern part of which belongs to Denmark and the southern part of which belongs to Germany. Depending on the temperature and humidity at the altitude the contrail forms, they may be visible for only a few seconds or minutes, or may persist for hours and spread to be several miles wide. Persistent spreading contrails are thought to have a significant effect on global climate.

Contrails, by affecting the Earth’s radiation balance, act as a radiative forcing. Studies have found that contrails trap outgoing longwave radiation emitted by the Earth and atmosphere (positive radiative forcing) at a greater rate than they reflect incoming solar radiation (negative radiative forcing).

Global radiative forcing has been calculated from the reanalysis data, climatological models and radiative transfer codes. It is estimated to amount to 0.012 W/m2 for 2005, with an uncertainty range of 0.005 to 0.0026 W/m2, and with a low level of scientific understanding. Therefore, the overall net effect of contrails is positive, i.e. a warming effect.

However, the effect varies daily and annually, and overall the magnitude of the forcing is not well known: globally (for 1992 air traffic conditions), values range from 3.5 mW/m2 to 17 mW/m2. Other studies have determined that night flights are mostly responsible for the warming effect: while accounting for only 25% of daily air traffic, they contribute 60 to 80% of contrail radiative forcing. Similarly, winter flights account for only 22% of annual air traffic, but contribute half of the annual mean radiative forcing.

Climate Change and the Danish Coastline – April 21st, 2013

56.0N 10.0E

April 21st, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day

Denmark- April 20th, 2013

The Danish coastline measures 4605 km, bordering the Baltic Sea in the east and the North Sea in the west. Along the western coast, the country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland. Denmark is known for its many islands as Zealand and Lolland as well as its hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago.

The main climate change risks for the coastal zones of Denmark are likely to come from increased rainfall and flash storms. Also, the loss of eco-systems or wetlands due to climate change deserves attention.

The main populated areas of Denmark vulnerable to coastal flooding and erosion are the municipalities of Lolland and Greve situated along the Baltic Sea as well as the west coast of Jutland which is exposed to the North Sea.

Salt marshes and dunes are commonly found along the Danish coastline, especially along the west coast of Jutland. The areas constitute important natural habitats for a large number of plant and animal species (click here for more information).

Snow Highlighting Chain of Frisian Islands, Netherlands and Germany – February 12th, 2013

53.3N 5.3E

February 12th, 2013 Category: Image of the day

Holland- January 25th, 2013

Snow covers Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany in this winter image of Europe. It also highlights part of the chain of Frisian Islands, also known as the Wadden Islands or Wadden Sea Islands. The islands form an archipelago at the eastern edge of the North Sea in northwestern Europe, stretching from the north-west of the Netherlands through Germany to the west of Denmark. The islands shield the mudflat region of the Wadden Sea (large parts of which fall dry during low tide) from the North Sea.

Phytoplankton Bloom West of Iceland

65.1N 25.5W

July 12th, 2012 Category: Phytoplankton

Iceland – July 11th, 2012

A blue and green phytoplankton bloom hangs in the waters west of Iceland, in the Irminger Sea (below) and Denmark Strait (above), which separated Iceland and Greenland. The bloom is situated west of the Westfjords Peninsula, the large, mountainous peninsula to the left, and west of the smaller Snæfellsnes peninsula, to the south of the former.

Sediments and Phytoplankton Off Coast of Denmark

56.6N 8.5E

April 1st, 2012 Category: Phytoplankton, Sediments

Denmark - March 31st, 2012

Sediments  can be seen off the coast of Denmark and the Jutland Peninsula. Nearest the shoreline they are greyish brown in color, and become progressively greener as they diffuse into the North Sea. Further west, the greenish blue color of the water appears to be due to phytoplankton rather than coloring by sediments, although the presence of sediments in the water often brings increased nutrients which, in turn, lead to increased phytoplankton growth.

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