During 5 and 6 December 2013, a major storm passed through northern Europe coinciding with a period of high tides in the North Sea and resulting in extremely high sea levels – a ‘storm surge’. The effects of the storm surge resulted for the United Kingdom in the highest sea levels since the 1953 North Sea Floods, while parts of Hamburg were flooded in Germany. ESA’s CryoSat
ESA’s ice mission is now giving scientists a closer look at oceans, coastal areas, inland water bodies and even land, reaching above and beyond its original objectives. Launched in 2010, the polar-orbiting CryoSat was developed to measure the changes in the thickness of polar sea ice, the elevation of the ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica, and mountain glaciers.
Ocean measurements from ESA’s CryoSat mission are being exploited by the French space agency CNES to provide global ocean observation products in near-real time. Understanding sea-surface currents is important for marine industries and protecting ocean environments.