Tag Archives: European Space Agency

Japan Will Launch a Satellite to Study Global Warming

Japan announced that they will launch a satellite in 2013, together with the European Space Agency, to study the clouds and try to predict accurately the progress of global warming.

It is expected that the EarthCARE satellite increased its accuracy of predictions of global warming, such as increases in temperature, which would help create measures against climate change. This was according to the Aerospace Exploration Agency of Japan.

The clouds have been the major obstacle for scientists in predicting global warming, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations Organization (UNO). 

Equipped with four radar sensors and a special profile, this is a key component of the vehicle to be developed in Japan. The EarthCARE satellite examines the dust and dirt inside the clouds and atmosphere.

The Japanese space agency said the satellite will improve weather forecasts by examining the vertical profiles of clouds and aerosols, and radiation at the top of the atmosphere.

ESA Detects an Unknown Melting

Paris, France – The satellite, Envisat, has detected an unknown melting of 790 thousand square kilometers in the Antarctic ice shelf of Larsen B. This occurred during the past decade, as reported by the European Space Agency (ESA). 

This loss was observed in the large plate which forms part of a larger plate, which also includes the smaller plate A, and the greatest plate C, which extends along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, ESA said in a statement. The Envisat satellite, serving a decade and proved that Larsen B went from having 11, 512 square kilometers to 664 in 2002, when only a few days during the month of February of that year, lost an area of 3,200 square kilometers. 

Larsen A disintegrated in January 1995 and Larsen C is stable, although satellite observations have revealed that there was a thinning of the ice sheet and an increase duration of summer melt. 

“The ice sheets are sensitive to atmospheric warming and changes in ocean currents and temperatures,” said Helmut Rott, a professor at the University of Innsbruck (Austria). The expert added that temperatures north of the Antarctic Peninsula has risen by 2.5 degrees over the past 50 years, higher than the global average, which has caused “a disintegration of ice sheets”. 

ESA said that the radar satellites for Earth observations, such as Envisat, are “especially useful for monitoring of polar regions because they can acquire images through clouds and darkness.” Envisat is in orbit at least two years and in 2013 a new generation satellite of ESA Sentinel missions, will take over in ground-based observations.