I know there are some satellites in space that monitor specific things in order for us to be able to forecast the weather. Next to this I would like to know what other elements (mostly related to nature) do satellites monitor on earth? Deforestation?
Deforestation, sea levels (Jason), snow/ice cover(JPSS), amount of water vapor in the air (JPSS, GOES), lightning (GOES), cloud cover (JPSS, GOES), forest fires (JPSS, GOES), geomagnetic storms (DSCOVR), ozone levels (Jason)...
I'm sure there is a bunch of other stuff that I'm forgetting.
These are mostly NOAA operated satellites (though I think they have some NASA instruments on them). They are mostly weather / atmospheric science related.
Here are some link you might find interesting:
I want to expand on the answer of ventsyv by listing the capabilities of earth observation satellites operated by the European Space Agency.
Sentinel fleet, part of Copernicus Programme
- Radar imaging of land and ocean (2x Sentinel-1, 2 more planned)
- Multi-spectral optical imaging for land services (e.g. imagery of vegetation, soil and water cover, inland waterways and coastal areas) (2x Sentinel-2)
- Surface temperature, imaging spectrometer, radar topography measurements, water vapour, thermal radiation, laser ranging (2x Sentinel-3, 2 more planned)
- Atmospheric composition monitoring (Sentinel-4, part of Meteosat Third Generation, 2 planned, first launch in 2023)
- Atmospheric composition monitoring (Sentinel-5, part of Meteorological Operational Satellite - Second Generation, planned launch in 2022)
- Global sea surface height (Sentinel-6, 2 planned, first launch 2020)
- Monitoring of polar ice caps/ ice thickness
Envisat, end of mission 8 April 2012
- Water vapour (MWR)
- Sea surface temperature (AATSR)
- Atmospheric pressure and temperature profiles, Profiles of trace gases (MIPAS)
- Reflectance of the Earth (surface and atmosphere) (MERIS)
- Concentration of trace gases and aerosols in the troposphere and stratosphere (SCIAMACHY)
- Ocean topography, sea ice and land heights (RA-2)
- Surface heights (ASAR)
- Ozone (GOMOS)