Wednesday , November 25 2020

Satellite to watch the rising sea as the climate heats up



An Earth-wake satellite developed by European and US space agencies will measure sea level rise, following changes that threaten to disrupt tens of millions of lives within a generation.

If all goes according to plan, the payload will be lifted into orbit at low Earth 1,300 km (800 miles) by the Space X Falcon 9 rocket, taking off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 17:17 GMT Saturday

The Sentinel-6a will be the first of two identical satellites – the second to be launched in five years – providing measurements of unprecedented accuracy by at least 2030.

Each Sentinel-6 probe carries a radar altimeter, which measures the time it takes for radar pulses to travel to the Earth’s surface and bounce back.

The satellites will orbit the planet in the same orbit as previous missions that have provided sea level data for the past three decades, mapping 95 percent of the Earth’s ice-free ocean every 10 days.

The acceleration of sea level rise is undoubtedly the impact of climate change that will affect most people in the next three decades.

Nearly 800 million people live five meters above sea level, and even a few centimeters rise in sea level can turn into a huge damage from the tides.
An Earth-wake satellite developed by European and US space agencies will measure sea level rise, following changes that threaten to disrupt tens of millions of lives within a generation.

If all goes according to plan, the payload will be lifted into orbit at low Earth 1,300 km (800 miles) by the Space X Falcon 9 rocket, taking off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 17:17 GMT Saturday

The Sentinel-6a will be the first of two identical satellites – the second to be launched in five years – providing measurements of unprecedented accuracy by at least 2030.

Each Sentinel-6 probe carries a radar altimeter, which measures the time it takes for radar pulses to travel to the Earth’s surface and bounce back.

The satellites will orbit the planet in the same orbit as previous missions that have provided sea level data for the past three decades, mapping 95 percent of the Earth’s ice-free ocean every 10 days.

The acceleration of sea level rise is undoubtedly the impact of climate change that will affect most people in the next three decades.

Nearly 800 million people live five meters above sea level, and even a few centimeters rise in sea level can turn into a huge damage from the tides.

China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand are home to most of the people living on land today that could be threatened by permanent flooding by 2100.

Already today, there are more than 100 million people living below high tide.

“Extreme sea level events that are historically rare – once in a century in the recent past – are projected to occur frequently, at least once a year, in many locations by 2050,” especially in the tropics, the UN Climate Science Advisory Panel , IPCC, concluded in the main report last year.

Satellites monitoring the world’s oceans since 1993 show that the global average sea level has risen, on average, by more than three millimeters (more than one tenth of an inch) per year.

More recently, that rate has risen to 5 mm per year.

“It is crucial that we can see these accelerations,” said Alain Ratier, the outgoing CEO of the European Satellite Meteorological Agency, EUMETSAT.

The IPCC predicts a global increase in sea level rise to 1.1 meters (43 inches) by the end of the century.

The Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission is a collaboration between the European Commission, the European Space Agency (ESA), EUMETSAT, NASA, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Sentinel satellites are the size and shape of a large minivan, filled with sloping solar panels, and weigh nearly 1,200 kilograms (including rocket fuel).

They are designed to last five and a half years, but can provide data for much longer. China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand are home to most of the people living on land today that could be threatened by permanent flooding by 2100.

Already today, there are more than 100 million people living below high tide.

“Extreme sea level events that are historically rare – once in a century in the recent past – are projected to occur frequently, at least once a year, in many locations by 2050,” especially in the tropics, the UN Climate Science Advisory Panel , IPCC, concluded in the main report last year.

Satellites monitoring the world’s oceans since 1993 show that the global average sea level has risen, on average, by more than three millimeters (more than one tenth of an inch) per year.

More recently, that rate has risen to 5 mm per year.

“It is crucial that we can see these accelerations,” said Alain Ratier, the outgoing CEO of the European Satellite Meteorological Agency, EUMETSAT.

The IPCC predicts a global increase in sea level rise to 1.1 meters (43 inches) by the end of the century.

The Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission is a collaboration between the European Commission, the European Space Agency (ESA), EUMETSAT, NASA, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Sentinel satellites are the size and shape of a large minivan, filled with sloping solar panels, and weigh nearly 1,200 kilograms (including rocket fuel).

They are designed to last five and a half years, but can provide data for much longer.


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