Sauli Niinistö, the President of the Republic of Finland, visited the FMI Arctic Space Centre and Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory on Thursday 5th March 2020. President Niinistö was shown satellite ground station operations, satellite data usage and remote sensing research by FMI-SPACE.
The President was particularly interested in the utilization of space borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery in supporting the Finnish and Swedish icebreaker fleet operating in the Baltic Sea region, and assisting commercial vessels to access the Finnish harbours. Although the winter 2019-2020 has been exceptionally warm and the extent of sea ice in the Gulf of Bothnia, and in the Baltic Sea in general, is record-breaking low, the Finnish icebreakers are still operating at the sea.
Likewise, satellite observations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere drew Niinistö’s attention. Especially the role of boreal forests as CO2 sink and the anthropogenic source regions of CO2 emissions, such as the industrialized regions in Europe and North America, China and in particular South Saharan Africa caught his attention.
Jyri Heilimo, Head of the Arctic Space Centre, Finnish Meteorological Institute, email@example.com