23/07/2018, Yucatán, Mexico In this week’s PROBA-V 100m image, acquired in late July, we see the beautiful Yucatán peninsula that separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico and the centre of Mayan civilization.
As part of the Atlantic Hurricane Belt, the largely flat peninsula is vulnerable to storms coming from the east. Yet, on its easternmost side, we find a popular beach resorts and tourist hotspots such as the city of Cancún.
Moving further south towards Belize, in the state of Quintana Roo, we find the biosphere reserve of Sian Ka’an, home to jaguars and archaeological sites of the Mayans.
On the western side, the large orange-brown spot is the city of Mérida near the centre of the buried Chicxulub crater. This was formed by the impact of a 10 to
15 km large asteroid or comet, which is linked to a major climate disruption and extinction event, just under 66 million years ago.
06/08/2018, Middle Europe Europe has faced one of the most intense regional droughts of the past decades. With temperatures of between 30° and 45° C and almost no precipitation, our landscapes have changed drastically in just a couple of weeks, which is also visible from space.
Various satellites including PROBA-V have seen our vegetation react on the persistent drought. The images of 7 August 2017 and 6 August 2018 show there is a clear difference in vegetation color.
Discover more on Euope's heat wave, the contribution of Earth observation data and remote sensing technology, and the impact on agriculture at 'When the heat gets tough ...'.
11/06/2018, Australia According to the Global Footprint Network, humanity will have used up its annual natural resource budget on August 1, the earliest Earth Overshoot Day since the global ecological overspending started in the early 1970s. And the costs of this borrowing of future resources is becoming increasingly visible, through deforestation, soil degradation, fresh water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, severe weather and climate change.
Remote Sensing, including our PROBA-V mission, are helping to monitor the land surface worldwide, contributing for instance to records of essential climatic and biodiversity variables, watching out for signs of droughts and desertification and so on.
While most of the Commonwealth of Australia, shown in this week’s image, is semi-arid or desert, it is home to a diverse range of habitats and unique biota, thanks to the continent’s great age, extremely variable weather patterns and geographic isolation. As one of the countries with relatively larger ecological footprint, the Aussie Overshoot Day occurred at the end of March.
07/2018, WK2018 - France, Croatia, Belgium The FIFA World Soccer Championships in Russia have ended last Sunday in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium with the final between France and Croatia.
Throughout the tournament, we have seen exciting matches, some big surprises, tension, and lots of beautiful goals (169 in total).
With these PROBA-V cut-out images, showing the countries in their full cloud-free glory, we want to congratulate France as the new Soccer World Champion, but also the silver and bronze medalists Croatia and Belgium with their unprecedented achievements.
These images are not only available for these countries, but have been created for all ESA Member States under the Creative Commons License. You can access the PROBA-V website and ESA Open Access website to view and download all the high resolution imagery.
20/03/2018, The Bahamas This Friday, 8 June, World Oceans Day, a day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future is celebrated. This year’s focus is “preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solution for a healthy ocean”.
Of the more than 8 million tons of plastic waste that end up concentrated in the oceans’ major gyres each year, more than 60% originates from plastic packaging. Both the large plastic pieces and the microplastics are a thread to marine life, with the microplastics eventually ending up in the trophic chain.
The false-colour 100 m image of 20 March 2018 shows part of the Bahamas archipelago, which has the third most extensive coral reef system in the world. The Bahamas’ major island Andros is located in the image middle part, while east of Andros the small but most populated island New Providence can be seen. In the upper-right and lower-right part, Eleuthera and parts of Great Exuma are located, respectively. The light-blue taints indicate the shallow waters surrounding the Bahamas.
25/02/2018, Rhine and Schedlt Delta PROBA-V was launched in May 2013 to ensure continuation of the 15-year SPOT-VEGETATION global vegetation time series, bridging the gap to Sentinel-3 for land applications. After almost 5 years of successful and high-quality operations,
PROBA-V is consolidating its role as key data provider to the Copernicus Global Land Service and as valuable complement to the Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 sensors.
From 29 – 31 May, the PROBA-V Symposium gathers scientists, students, end-users, and other stakeholders to present and discuss the latest scientific and operational results and applications.
To highlight this event, we present a 100 m image of Belgium and parts of its neighbouring countries. Ostende is located at the coast near the Zeebrugge harbour in the middle-left part of the image. Further, several Belgian cities, such as Brussels, Antwerp, Liège, and Ghent can be located by the grey areas. And in the lower-right part you can recognize the snow-covered Belgian Ardennes.
2015, Africa On October 16, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations celebrates World Food Day, promoting actions towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal #2 – Zero hunger by 2030, which is particularly relevant for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The accurate mapping of grasslands, forests and crop fields, as well as the detection of changes in land cover over time form a cornerstone in many applications on crop monitoring.
Using 100 m and 300 m PROBA-V imagery, together with 10 m resolution training data and several ancillary data layers, the Copernicus Global Land Service generates a novel, yearly map. The validation of the first map over Africa, for 2015, revealed a higher classification accuracy compared to existing global land cover maps, notably in the Sahel, Botswana and Madagascar. However, the major improvement is delivered by the cover fraction layers for tree, grass, shrub and bare soil, allowing users to tune the default land cover classes to their specific needs.
09/04/2017, Ethiopia, Africa Located in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia has a fast-growing population and economy, renowned for its coffee production on the fertile Ethiopian Highlands. These highlands are bisected by the Great Rift Valley that starts from the Afar Triangle, a depression with saline lakes, salt mining and important wildlife refuges, that is partly shown in this image.
While the highlands enjoy a more temperate climate than usual so close to the Equator, the recent drought in Eastern Africa reminds us of the importance of protecting the diversity of wildlife and local crop varieties to the effects of climate change and other threats.
25/08/2016, Czech Republic
01/10/2016, United Kingdom
02/10/2016, United Kingdom
21/04/2015, Champagne region, France The false-colour image of 21 April 2015 showed us the Champagne region, in the northeast of France. The area is best known for the production of the sparkling white wine that bears the region's name. EU law and the laws of most countries reserve the term "Champagne" exclusively for wines that come from this region located about 160 km east of Paris. This area covers 33,500 hectares of vineyards around 319 villages that are home to 5,000 growers who make their own wine and 14,000 growers who only sell grapes. The western/northern blue spot is 'Reims', in the centre of the image 'Châlons-en-Champagne' and below the city of ‘Troyes’. Three lakes can be seen: lac d'Orient, lac du Temple and lac du Der-Chantecoq (from bottom to top). Those artificial lakes have been created to protect Paris against floods in the 60's and 70's.
15/07/2016, New Zealand The PROBA-V image at 300 m resolution, acquired mid July 2016, takes a closer look at the South island, also called Te Waipounamu in Māori, the largest but least populated island of New Zealand. On the east coast of the island, we see the circular Banks Peninsula, formed by the remnants of two large shield volcanoes and nowadays characterized by two deep harbours and many smaller bays and coves. The South Island's largest city, Christchurch, is immediately north of the peninsula, along the coast of Pegasus Bay.
But the real eye-catcher in the image are the beautiful mountains of the Southern Alps, with 18 peaks over 3000 meter high - the highest being Mount Cook - several national parks, glaciers, fjords and ski resorts.
The western coast of the island, facing the Tasman Sea, has an extremely wet climate, whereas the eastern part is semi-arid.
05/2016, N-daily compositor The above images show composites, at 300 m resolution, for different time periods over an area in Venezuela and Brazil in May 2016. From left-to-right, the extension of the time period helps to remove cloud cover.
13/01/2015, Ghana, Biodiversity Ghana is a West-African country located along the Gulf of Guinea with an area of 238,000 km² and about 27 million inhabitants. The country’s tropical climate is strongly influenced by the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a belt with thunderstorms migrating between northern and southern Ghana throughout the year. The northern part of Ghana receives ~800 mm of annual rain, while the southern part is substantially wetter with 1500 – 2000 mm. Due to these large differences in precipitation amount, Ghana’s landscape changes from mangrove, evergreen, and tropical forests in the south to savanna grasslands in the north.
The 300 m false-colour image of 13 January 2015 shows Ghana’s southern part, with various forest areas shown as dark green patches. To the right, Lake Volta and the White Volta River are visible, with Ghana’s capital Accra located south of Lake Volta. The lower-left part of the image shows the southern Ivory Coast, with economic capital Abidjan shown in purple.
12/2015, The Hawaiian Islands The 300 m false-colour image shows us the Hawaiian islands. These islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and undersea seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean. The image is a 30-daily composit of December 2015, compiled by the Mission Exploitation Platform (MEP - https://proba-v-mep.esa.int/).
29/11/2014, Sultanate of Oman The 100 m false-colour image of 29 November 2014 shows Oman, an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast.
28/02/2016, Myanmar, Birma The 100 m false-colour image of 28 february 2016 shows us a part of Myanmar and the islands outside the coast of the Andaman Sea. The light-blue areas indicate river sediments. The sea has been traditionally used for fishery and transportation of goods between the coastal countries and its coral reefs and islands are popular tourist destinations.
21/06/2015, Iceland, Europe The 100 m false-colour image of 21 June 2015 shows Iceland, a Nordic island country between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. It has a population of 332,529 and an area of 103,000 km². The island's interior, the Highlands of Iceland, is a cold and uninhabitable combination of sand, mountains and lava fields.
17/03/2016, Wadden Islands, the Netherlands In this week’s false-colour image, we zoom in on the Netherlands, famous for their conquest of the North Sea through the construction of major dike infrastructure in the southwest and the enclosure and reclaim of Flevoland as twelth province. Where Lake Ijssel, the largest lake in western Europe and formerly known as the South Sea, joins the North Sea, we find a beautiful string of islands called the Wadden Islands.
Together, the Wadden Islands stretch from the Netherlands to Denmark. Out of the Dutch islands, five are inhabited and many are protected as wildlife habitats.
Further in this image, we see the Belgian port of Antwerp and capital city of Brussels in the south, the triangle Amsterdam-The Hague – Rotterdam in the west. The Hoge Veluwe national park (brown) stands out to the southeast of Lake Ijssel as well.
06/2016, EURO 2016, France In the false-colour PROBA-V images of the home country of ‘les Bleus’, taken in December 2015 and May of this year, we zoom in on a few major French cities that will host part of the EURO2016 matches: Bordeaux in the southwest, Marseille on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast and of course the French capital Paris, with the Stade de France located just on its northside, in Saint-Denis.
While the fans hope to win the cup and see many goals, we can remember to enjoy what France has to offer in addition: rocky shorelines in Bretagne, sunny seaside and several natural parks mainly in the south, snow-capped mountains near the Spanish, Swiss and Italian borders well-known to cycling enthousiasts! and a wealth of history.
28/03/2015, Guinea-Bissau, Africa Guinea-Bissau is a country in West-Africa with about 1.6 million inhabitants. The country is surrounded by Guinea and Senegal, was part of the Mali empire until the 18th century, and became independent in 1973. The country has a tropical climate, with a year-average temperature of 26O C and ~2000 mm of annual rainfall.
The image shows a large part of the country and the islands outside the coast. The light-blue areas indicate river sediments.
04/07/2015, Prague, Czech Republic Prague, the largest city of the Czech Republic and famous for its impressive historical architecture. The ‘Golden City’ lies just south of the confluence of the Vltava (Moldau) and Elbe rivers. The city played major roles throughout its 1100 year existence and European history. Today, the city centre is protected as UNESCO World Heritage.
20/06/2015, Marble Bar, Australia With an average high temperature of 35 °C, Marble Bar in the Pilbara Region in Western Australia is known as Australia’s hottest town. The town was called Marble Bar after a stunning formation of jasper which settlers mistook for a huge bar of marble.
02/05/2015, Tenerife, Spain The island of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and a popular holiday destination for many, is home to the 2016 edition of the international BiDS conference, taking place on 15-17 March 2016.
This false-colour image, acquired by PROBA-V in May last year, shows the dominant volcano El Teide, the highest mountain on Spanish territory. The built-up areas around the coastline, for instance the capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the southeast, the harbour city of Puerto de la Cruz in the north or the Tenerife South airport (formerly known as the Reina Sofia airport) in the southern tip.
Along the southeastern coastline, we can see the dark spot of the Badlands of Guimar, that consist of volcanic cones, the largest being Big Mountain and several lava flows.
06/11/2015, Krugerpark, South Africa This image shows parts of the famous Kruger (in total almost 20.000km²) and Limpopo national parks, divided north-to-south by the border between South Africa and Mozambique, with the curved, almost ‘M’-shaped, Massingir lake and Dam prominently visible in near-black colour. Construction of this dam, the second largest in Mozambique, was started in 1971 and finally completed in 2006-2007.
Rio dos Elefantes (in Portuguese) or Olifantsrivier (in Afrikaans) riverbeds, extending from the southwest in the image, and Great Letaba river, coming in from the north, feed into the lake from its western side. The Elefantes river in the west, shown by its vegetated banks in red, further extends into the well-known Limpopo river. Finally, the city and mining site of Phalaborwa can be seen in the blue and red colours at the western edge of this daily synthesis image, captured in early November 2015.
01/10/2015, Zhangya Danxia Landforms, China The Zhangye landform is particularly dramatic in colour as it is offset against the city of Zhangye, located in Gansu province and the Hexi Corridor, a northern part of the Silk Roads, and nearby urban and green areas (red highlight).
21/04/2015, Belgium, the Netherlands The image shows various Dutch and Belgian rivers flowing towards the North Sea: the Scheldt in the lower-left and the Rhine, Waal, and Lek in the centre. The upper-right corner shows Flevoland, a Dutch province reclaimed from Lake IJssel between 1939 and 1968.
06/2014, Greece and Turkye The image presented is a 30-day composite of the two countries. The Greek islands are visible in the image centre, while the Turkish Riviera can be seen just right of it.
08/03/2015, Asia, United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country located at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula at the Persian Gulf. It borders Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar and Iran. In 2013, UAE's total estimated population was 9.2 million; 1.4 million Emirati citizens and 7.8 million expatriates. This 100 m image shows the country and the coastal man-made Palm Islands along the Persian Gulf coast.
2014/2015, North American Winter Season Shown is the North-American 2014/15 winter season, with an animation of PROBA-V 300 m 10-day syntheses. The 2014/15 winter season divided the North-American continent into two, with mild temperatures and little precipitation in the western United States and Canada, while the mid-western and eastern parts experienced the coldest winter since decades (source: NOAA). The cold spells were frequently accompanied with severe snow storms, mostly concentrating on the East Coast regions. For example, Boston City was struck by four of those storms in a month, with snow accumulating to almost 2 m.
The animation shows a nearly green continent during October 2014, but from mid-November onwards several regions, especially east of the Rocky Mountains, are regularly snow-covered, a situation that persists until the last image of February 2015. In contrast, western US and Canada remain mostly snow-free during the winter season.
30/01/2015, Middle East, Qatar Qatar is a country with a fast-expanding business at the north-eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, located on a flat and mostly sandy plain. The country’s population is 1.8 million, of which 1.5 million are expatriates. Qatar is the world’s leading exporter of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), of which 77 million metric tons were exported in 2013, being 32% of the world’s total LNG trade.
The image shows the country and its desert in the western part, as well as the two major cities of Doha and Mesaieed in the east. Further, in the northeast the large plants of Ras Laffan Industrial City can be seen, while the scattered green spots indicate circular irrigation fields.
28/12/2014, Senegal, Africa Senegal is a country in West-Africa that owes its name to the Senegal River that borders the country to the east and north. It has a tropical climate with a dry and wet season. During the dry season, a hot and dry trade wind (called the Harmattan) blows from the northeast, while during the wet season a south-western wind blows humid Atlantic air over the country. In the dry eastern part of the country, temperatures can reach heights of 54 degrees C.
06/02/2015, Guinea-Bissau, Africa Guinea-Bissau is a country in West-Africa with about 1.6 million inhabitants. The country is surrounded by Guinea and Senegal, was part of the Mali empire until the 18th century, and became independent in 1973. The country has a tropical climate, with a year-average temperature of 26 degrees C and ~2000 mm of annual rain.
13-01-2015, Venice Lagoon, Italy Venice comprises of 117 small islands in the Venetian Lagoon, which are separated by channels and linked by bridges. The city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was the commercial and artistic centre of the Republic of Venice during the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
This PROBA-V false-colour image beautifully shows Venice and its Lagoon, located between the mouth of the Piave river and the Po river delta. Further, agricultural fields can be seen as darker red patches, while in the upper left corner some snow-covered Dolomite peaks are visible.
12/2013 - 11/2014, One Year Operational Today exactly one year ago, PROBA-V was put in operational mode.
In this first year, the satellite has continuously observed the Earth and provided us with measurement data to monitor among others vegetation dynamics, biomass production and agricultural yield in a changing climate.
To celebrate the completion of the first operational year, we present you 12 syntheses of Europe, one for each month. The images show the seasonal cycle from a partly snow-covered continent in December 2013 towards a snow-free and fully vegetated continent during the summer months and finally the first autumn snow in October 2014.
01/09/2014, United Kingdom The United Kingdom or Britain includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another state: the Republic of Ireland. The United Kingdom has about 64 million inhabitants and consists of four separate countries: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
21/08/2014, New Zealand New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses, that of the Northern, Southern, and numerous smaller islands. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions.
01/06/2014, The Netherlands The Netherlands is the main constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is a small, densely populated country, lying mainly in Western Europe, but also including three islands in the Caribbean. The European part of the Netherlands borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest. The Netherlands' name literally means "Low Country", inspired by its low and flat geography. Only about 50% of its land exceeds one metre above sea level. Most of the areas below sea level are man-made and are called 'polders'.
The population density of the Netherlands is about 500, making it the fifth-most populated country in the world. Nevertheless, the countries' food and agriculture export is the second-largest in the world, after the United States.
01/06/2014, Switzerland Switzerland is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura. With the Alps occupying the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8 million people is concentrated mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found (among which Geneva and Zurich).
Switzerland has the highest nominal wealth per adult (financial and non-financial assets) in the world and is also the most expensive country in the world to live in, as measured by the price level index.
01/06/2014, Spain Spain is a sovereign state located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. Spain is the fifth largest country in Europe.
01/06/2014, Portugal Portugal is a sovereign nation-state in Europe. It is located on the Iberian Peninsula, and it is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. Aside from continental Portugal, the Portuguese Republic holds sovereignty over the Atlantic archipelagos of Azores and Madeira, which are autonomous regions of Portugal. The country is named after its second largest city, Porto.
01/06/2014, Croatia Croatia is a sovereign state at the crossroads of Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. Its capital city is Zagreb, which forms one of the country's primary subdivisions. Croatia covers 56,594 square kilometres and has diverse, mostly continental and Mediterranean climates. Croatia's Adriatic Sea coast contains more than a thousand islands.
01/06/2014, Greece Greece, known since ancient times as Hellas, is a country in Southern Europe and Balkans. The country is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa and traces its roots to the civilization of Ancient Greece, which began with the Aegean Civilizations of the Bronze Age. Considered the cradle of all Western civilization, Greece is among others the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, and the Olympic Games.
01/06/2014, France France is a unitary sovereign state comprising territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories and is, due to its shape, often referred to in French as l’Hexagone ("The Hexagon"). The north and northwest have a temperate climate, while a combination of maritime influences, latitude, and altitude produce a varied climate in the rest of Metropolitan France. In the south-east, a Mediterranean climate prevails. In the west, the climate is predominantly oceanic with a high level of rainfall, mild winters, and warm summers. Inland, the climate becomes more continental with hot, stormy summers, colder winters, and less rain. The climate of the Alps and other mountainous regions is mainly alpine, with the number of days having temperatures below freezing over 150 per year and snow cover lasting for up to six months.
01/06/2014, Bosnia Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for 20 kilometres of coastline on the Adriatic Sea. In the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, characterized by hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography.
18/07/2014, Belgium Belgium is a federal monarchy in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters as well as those of several other major international organisations such as NATO. Belgium covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Belgium's two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region, officially bilingual, is a mostly French-speaking enclave within the Flemish Region. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture.
21/05/2014, Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.2 million square kilometres, including adjacent islands, it covers six percent of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area. Africa's population is the youngest among all the continents; 50% of Africans are 19 years old or younger. The African climate ranges from tropical to subarctic on its highest peaks. Its northern half is primarily desert or arid, while its central and southern areas contain both savannah plains and very dense jungle (rainforest) regions. In between, there is a convergence, where vegetation patterns such as the Sahel zone and steppe dominate. Africa is the hottest continent on earth and 60% of the entire land surface consists of drylands and deserts.
11/11/2014, Global composite PROBA-V syntheses are used in climate change and vegetation dynamics studies, delivering the knowledge needed to decide upon measures to reduce the human footprint on Earth and to preserve a good living environment.
On this 1 km image, the first signs of the upcoming boreal winter are visible, with snow-covered areas over Canada, the United States, eastern Europe, and Siberia.
01/05/2014, S10, Europe Europe is a continent that comprises the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia. It is generally divided from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting the Black and Aegean Seas. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, is the birthplace of Western culture. It played a predominant role in global affairs from the 15th century onwards. Europe lies mainly in the temperate climate zones, being subjected to prevailing westerlies.
The European climate is milder in comparison to other areas of the same latitude around the globe due to the influence of the Gulf Stream, which not only carries warm water to Europe's coast, but also warms up the prevailing westerly winds that blow across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean.
21/08/2014, Italy Italy is a unitary parliamentary republic in Southern Europe, which, due to its shape, is often referred to as lo Stivale (the Boot). The country has 61 million inhabitants, being the fifth-most populous country in Europe. the climate of Italy is highly diverse. In most of the inland northern and central regions, the climate ranges from humid subtropical to humid continental and oceanic, while the coastal areas of Liguria, Tuscany and most of the South generally fit the Mediterranean climate stereotype. Conditions on peninsular coastal areas can be very different from the interior's higher ground and valleys, particularly during the winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. The coastal regions have mild winters and warm and generally dry summers, although lowland valleys can be quite hot in summer.