6 to help NASA track climate change's effects on oceans

Rodiano Bonacci
Novembre 21, 2020

Europe and the United States are sharing the $1.1 billion (900 million euro) cost of the mission, which includes the twin satellite.

SpaceX launched the rocket on time at 9:17 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.

The webcast above will go live approximately 15 minutes prior to the liftoff time, so at around 9:02 AM PST (12:02 PM EST).

"It's a critical observation for a number of reasons, but its power is really unleashed when we combine our altimetry observations of the sea surface height measurements with the observations we get from the other satellites in the NASA fleet and the worldwide fleet", she continued.

The satellites will circle the planet in the same orbit as earlier missions that supplied sea-surface height data over the last three decades, mapping 95 percent of Earth's ice-free ocean every ten days.

Warming isn't happening uniformly everywhere, and because the ocean expands as it warms, researchers will be able to use Sentinel-6 observations to more precisely monitor where the ocean is warming fastest.

Technically, Sentinel-6 is a step forward.

With satellites, airborne missions, shipboard measurements, and supercomputers, NASA has been investigating sea level rise for decades. Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Satellites (GRACE).

Karen St. Germain, director of NASA's Earth science division, told a press conference that Sentinel-6 could help to show how much of rising sea levels is due to melting ice sheets. Focus on returning the flag to the expedition.

Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich atop a Falcon 9 rocket at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, US.

"Since 70% of the Earth's surface is ocean, the oceans play an important role in how the whole system [of global warming] changes", she said.

But Sentinel-6 publishes raw data, not images. It is supported by a microwave radiometer developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which measures water vapor in the atmosphere to providing timing corrections for the radar altimeter.

"We are watching sea level rise right in front of our eyes, and it's satellites like this that allow us to do that", Willis said. "Sentinel-2 provides high resolution measurements in the coastal zone", Donlon said.

"We know that the sea level will continue to rise during the next century", explains Alain Rattier, Director General of the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (Eumetsat). This program maintains accurate data on the rise in sea levels of more than 90% of the oceans of the planet. Sea levels were rising at the rate of about two millimeters per year in the 1990s, said Josh Willis, project scientist for the mission at JPL, but are now increasing at four to five millimeters per year. While space satellites have been tracking this in detail for 30 years, the roots of this problem begin in the Industrial Revolution, when nations began burning huge reserves of carbon through coal, oil and other natural resources to power their economies.

Sentinel-6 won't be spoken to independently in items from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), however it will upgrade the models and guides NOAA and different accomplices in the mission as of now produce to all the more likely shield world populaces safe from increasing tropical storms, delegates said.

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