Key scientific questions to which EnMAP will contribute:
Climate change impacts and measures
- How does climate change effect state, composition and seasonal cycles of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems?
- What measures can effectively combat climate change and how can their implementation be monitored? (e.g., reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), carbon sequestration in forests and wetlands)
Land use / land cover changes and land surface processes
- Where and to what extent and rate do land degradation processes (desertification, ground erosion, salinization, soil acidification and others) and land use / land cover changes (deforestation, urbanisation and others) occur from local to global scale?
- How can land degradation be reduced or prevented in view of food security and environmental sustainability?
- What are the driving forces, anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic, for changes in land use / land cover and land surface characteristics?
Biodiversity and ecological stability
- What is the spatial pattern of ecosystem and diversity distributions from local to global scale?
- How do ecosystems change over time in their composition and health? (e.g., in the context of the European habitats directive)
- How are ecosystem processes and services being altered by human activities or natural causes and how can harmful consequences of ecosystem degradation be reduced or prevented?
Water availability and quality
- Which areas are affected by water scarcity and water quality problems from local to global and from seasonal to decadal scale?
- How do climate change and human activities such as intensive agriculture, water demanding industries and high population density reinforce water scarcity problems?
- How is inland and coastal water quality affected by land use change, climate change, inland water and coastal zone management and other factors?
- How can natural resources such as mineral deposits, energy sources (oil, gas), ground water sources and others be explored and managed in a sustainable way?
- What impact do human activities such as industry, mining, agriculture and others have on natural resources?
- How can environmentally harmful impacts such as water/air pollution, land contamination, mine waste and others be tracked, monitored and managed in order to conserve and sustain natural resources?
Geohazard and risk assessment
- Which areas are prone or susceptible to geohazards such as landslides, floods and others?
- Which land use characteristics affect the vulnerability to geohazards and how can they be mapped and monitored?
- In case of a natural disaster, which areas are to what extent affected and how can this information be provided for short-term coordinated emergency response?