Remote sensing of oceans from space has developed rapidly since 1978 when the first dedicated ocean-viewing sensors were launched. The increasing abundance of satellite data has undoubtedly changed the way the science of oceanography has developed, revealing previously undetected ocean phenomena, casting new light on old problems, and opening the way for new fields of oceanographic study.
Ian Robinson's latest book "Understanding the Ocean from Space" takes a broadly encompassing look at the ways satellite data have been applied to the study of the ocean. Its particular theme is the special contributions or new insights that only satellite data can bring to various aspects of oceanography. Each chapter takes a particular topic in ocean science and shows the variety of ways in which the measurements made by Earth-orbiting sensors can be applied to it. The topics range from ocean waves, to ocean biology, spanning scales from ocean basins to estuaries. Some chapters primarily cover applications to pure research whilst others show how satellite data can be used operationally for tasks such as pollution monitoring or oil-spill detection.