German astronaut Matthias Mauer of the European Space Agency (ESA) has shared an image of snow-covered Greece amid the Elpis snow storm. Shot from the International Space Station (ISS) in early February, the photograph centers on Halkida, the capital of Evia island.
“In keeping with its national colors, wintry Greece presented itself in blue and white,” Mauer, who is currently living and working aboard the ISS for his first mission, said in a post on social media.
“While hard to deny the beauty of the white and blue landscape of this image, it is a grim reminder of the effects of climate change on the planet. Especially when compared to photos of wildfires in Greece in the summer of 2021, imaged by ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet during his Alpha mission,” ESA said in a message.
“Like satellites watching Earth from above, astronauts are also observers of a rapidly changing Earth. Photos taken by astronauts complement satellite data but also serve another vital role: climate advocacy to the general public,” it said.
“A pretty picture like this says a thousand words on how humans are interacting with and affecting our surroundings. We can be both in awe of the beauty and the reality of the situation. The question is: what will we do about it?”
Wintery Greece in Blue & White 🇬🇷 Not so easy to distinguish snow from clouds in some places, but next to the capital Athens, I could also clearly see the Euboean Gulf – home to the narrow Euripus Strait. #CosmicKiss #EarthObservation pic.twitter.com/0mBd87PrAj
— Matthias Maurer (@astro_matthias) February 8, 2022