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Tag: Sentinel

European Sentinel satellites to map global CO2 emissions

European Sentinel satellites to map global CO2 emissions

Science
German manufacturer OHB-System has signed a €445m (£400m) contract to begin construction of a satellite network to monitor carbon dioxide.The CO2M constellation will consist in the first instance of two spacecraft, but there is an option for a third.The platforms will track the greenhouse gas across the globe, helping nations assess the scale of their emissions. Under the Paris climate accord, countries must compile CO2 inventories. CO2M will provide supporting data.The aim is to launch the OHB spacecraft in 2025 so they can inform the international stocktake that will report in 2028.CO2M falls under the European Union's Copernicus Earth observation programme. This flies a series of satellite se
Sentinel for sea-level rise enters testing

Sentinel for sea-level rise enters testing

Science
The next satellite tasked with maintaining the "gold standard" measurement of sea-level rise is about to enter final testing.Sentinel-6a will pick up from the long-running Jason series of spacecraft when it launches in November 2020.These missions track the height and shape of Earth's oceans with microwave altimeters.Since 1992, the orbiting instruments have observed sea level go up by an average of 3.2mm per year.This trend is accelerating, however. The most recent five-year period, from 2014 to 2019, has witnessed a 4.8mm/yr increase.Sentinel-6a marks the first time this hugely important mission series will fly under the badge of the EU's Copernicus Earth observation programme.It is still a joint venture between Europe (princip...
Sentinel satellite exposes sulphur dioxide pollution

Sentinel satellite exposes sulphur dioxide pollution

Science
What must it be like to live in the Siberian town of Norilsk on a "bad air day"? They say the local smelting industry produces 1% of all the sulphur dioxide (SO₂) going into the air globally, something close to two million tonnes a year. SO₂ is particularly unpleasant if breathed in; but it also washes out of the sky as "acid rain", damaging plant-life and denuding the quality of water in streams and rivers. The extent of Norilsk's pollution problem is captured in remarkable new maps from Europe's Sentinel-5P satellite. The spacecraft was put up last year to track the gases responsible for dirty air - with SO₂ being one of the prime culprits. Assembled in the UK and carrying the Dutch-led Tropomi instrument, S5P...
Sentinel tracks ships' dirty emissions from orbit

Sentinel tracks ships' dirty emissions from orbit

Science
The new EU satellite tasked with tracking dirty air has demonstrated how it will become a powerful tool to monitor emissions from shipping. Sentinel-5P was launched in October last year and this week completed its in-orbit commissioning phase. But already it is clear the satellite's data will be transformative. This latest image reveals the trail of nitrogen dioxide left in the air as ships move in and out of the Mediterranean Sea. The "highway" that the vessels use to navigate the Strait of Gibraltar is easily discerned by S5P's Tropomi instrument. "You really see a straight line because all these ships follow approximately the same route," explained Pepijn Veefkind, Tropomi's principal investigator from the Dutch met office (KNMI). "In this case, we also looked into how many big ships th...
California fires: Sentinel satellite tracks wildfire smoke plume

California fires: Sentinel satellite tracks wildfire smoke plume

Science
Europe's new Sentinel-5P satellite has captured a dramatic image of the smoke billowing away from the devastating California wildfires.It is a powerful demonstration of 5P's ability to sense the atmosphere. The plume is seen to sweep westwards out over the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles and then turn north towards the State of Oregon. The image, taken on Tuesday, was shown at this week's annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. It is the first time that data from the brand new UK-Dutch-built Sentinel has been presented at a research conference. Media playback is unsupported on your deviceThe mission was only launched on 13 October and has been engaged in calibration ever since; full operational service is still some months away. When that happens, it will be combing the atmosphere...