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10.02.2017 | Happy Birthday, Sigmund Jähn!

He was the first German in space – and he graduated in remote sensing at the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam. On 13 February 2017, Sigmund Jähn celebrates his 80th birthday: Congratulations!


02.02.2017 | Land subsidence caused by unrestrained groundwater exploitation is a risk for pistachio production in Iran

The Kerman Province of Iran is one of the main producers of pistachios in the world. In the Rafsanjan plain more than ninety percent of the agricultural land is used for production of this stone fruit. Groundwater is the main source of water supply for irrigation and industrial activities of the region. Since the plain is climatically extremely dry, and groundwater extraction exceeds recharge, the groundwater reservoir is draining. Erosion and subsidence of soil are the consequences.


31.01.2017 | Tracking changes of Earth’s gravity field – satellite mission GRACE Follow-On will be launched with SpaceX

Since 2002 the satellite mission GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) is in orbit to measure the Earth’s gravity field. Unfortunately, around summer this year the two satellites will run out of fuel, but a successor is already in preparation. The twin GRACE-FO (Follow On) satellites, which will operate in tandem as well, will be launched on a Falcon 9 of SpaceX as a rideshare with satellites of Iridium Communications Inc. The rideshare is anticipated to launch out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California by early 2018 as stated in a joint announcement of Iridium, NASA and the GFZ.


11.01.2017 | An Integrated Observation System for the Arctic Zone

Due to a number of reasons including e.g. increasing temperatures, a thinning and decrease of the ice mass and thawing of permafrost, the Arctic has become a particularly sensitive and rapidly changing region. Nevertheless, the Arctic has still not been widely explored to date. However, this is now changing as scientists from different countries reconnoiter the zone north of the polar circle – on land, in the seas, in the air and from space. The amount of data available is increasing but not always used in the best way. The EU project INTAROS aims at improving this situation. This project will get started in Bergen (Norway) on Wednesday, 11 January and Thursday, 12 January 2017 with workshop hosting a total of 48 participating institutions from 19 countries including the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.

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