Data from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) mission were used to monitor low soil moisture levels across Europe.
The average temperature in Europe from December to February was 1.4oC above the 1991-2020 average for the Boreal winter season, according to data published by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
Europe experienced a severe winter heatwave in late December and early January, when record-high temperatures hit countries from France to Hungary, forcing ski resorts to close because of a lack of snow.
Data captured on a map showed a clear picture of severe drought that will affect central and western Europe in 2023.
Drought impacts are particularly visible in France, Spain, the United Kingdom and northern Italy, raising concerns about water supply, agriculture and energy production.
The SMOS satellite carries a novel interferometric radiometer capable of capturing “brightness temperature” images, ESA reported.
These images are used to get global maps of soil moisture every three days, achieving an accuracy 4% at a 50-km spatial resolution.