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What’s Happening with Planet Earth?

This is a guest blog post from Chalmers University of Technology’s Sensing Planet Earth – From Core To Outer Space and Sensing Planet Earth – Water and Ice course instructor. 


Do you want to know more about the current state of planet Earth?

Did you follow the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris last year? Join us in our upcoming MOOCS, Sensing Planet Earth – From Core to Outer Space and Sensing Planet Earth – Water and Ice, to learn more about how we measure and observe the earth and why it’s so important.

Long before people were talking about climate change, we realized that comprehensive Earth observations were necessary for sustainable development and survival of human society. Already in ancient times, scientists and engineers built instruments that allowed us to measure our planet under, on and above its surface. Advances in technology enabled us to gain a better understanding about the processes of our Earth and provided us with the tools to monitor crucial parameters of “System Earth.”

Therefore, it is no surprise that scientists were among the first to raise public awareness of anthropogenic (caused by human) influences on global change and its impact on human life. Driven by undeniable evidence that human influence brought our planet slightly out of its fragile balance, efforts that measure, monitor or even predict global change have been carried out and supported on international, national and regional levels.

In recent years, the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development and the G8 Summit identified global Earth observations as an important priority. It was realized that global Earth observations are needed to support decision-making in an increasingly complex and environmentally stressed world.

But how do we actually sense and measure our planet in order to understand what is happening to it?


Join us, in the first of two courses, Sensing Planet Earth – From Core to Outer Space, as we try to answer this and other questions.

You will be given examples about how to use data from various sensors in order to improve our understanding of our living planet. You will see that precision and accuracy don’t have the same meaning, although both statistical properties are important when building instruments that observe our environment or sense the Earth from high above. In addition, simple experiments will show you how easy it is to measure properties of our Earth, and you will see that, together with other learners, you can act as one “sensor” that probes our planet. On top of that, you will hear from world-renowned experts who will explain why it is so important that we study our planet.

In summary – you will learn step-by-step how one can solve problems that relate to the huge puzzle called planet Earth. You will see how easy it is to make your own discoveries and obtain a deeper understanding of the complexity of our environment. Equipped with the skills and knowledge related to how, where and why Earth observations are carried out, you will be able to make better and more sustainable decisions for yourself, the environment and society.

Interested in learning more? You’re just a click away from making a difference. Enroll in Sensing Planet Earth- From Core to Outer Space and Sensing Planet Earth – Water and Ice. Let’s start sensing the wonders and development of planet Earth together!