A centre dedicated to harnessing space technology for environmental research has been launched. Science minister Lord Drayson, spoke at the launch:
"Society is relying on science for answers to the most complex and daunting environmental challenges facing the planet. The launch of the National Centre for Earth Observation represents the UK's determination to use the full potential of space technology for environmental research and make the most of this country's considerable expertise.
"Satellites offer a unique perspective on the interconnected processes that are shaping our world. Research undertaken at the NCEO will bring together seismologists, oceanographers and computer modellers to analyse data generated from British satellites and from European Space Agency programmes. In particular, I'm pleased to report that the NCEO will provide an essential national resource for the ESA Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme, which the UK government has recently invested £82m.
"In short, this centre will help to understand and tackle some of the biggest global challenges of the 21st Century."
More at: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/press/releases/2009/04-nceo.asp