Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Astronaut describes climate change from space

European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesce talks about a recent mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in Cologne, Germany on June 6, 2017. Photo by Oliver Berg via Getty Images

PARIS. French astronaut Thomas Pesquet used a video call from space to describe a view from the International Space Station about the effects of global warming.

Pesce told French President Emmanuel Macron during a phone call on Thursday that the space station’s windows show the haunting fragility of mankind’s only home.

“We see river pollution, atmospheric pollution and the like,” the astronaut said. “What really shocked me about this mission was the extreme weather or climate events.”

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“We saw entire regions burn from the space station in Canada and California,” he continued. “We saw all of California covered in a cloud of smoke and flame with the naked eye from 400 kilometers (250 miles).”

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This is Sand’s second mission to the space station. In 2016-2017, he also spent 197 days in orbit. In the meantime, he said, the destructive consequences of human activity are becoming more visible.

Macron said the goal of the negotiators at the UN climate conference in Scotland should be to accelerate humanity’s response.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us, and I think we all realize this,” the French leader said.

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