NASA satellite launched to monitor global warming
18 January 2016, Nirapad News: The US and French scientists have launched a new satellite capable of measuring the height of the world’s oceans to within 4cm.
The $180m mission, named Jason-3, is expected to provide them with vital data to track long-term changes to climate and the ocean’s role in global warming.
Jason-3 was launched on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sunday, Al Jazeera publishes this report on Monday.
The satellite will map the hills and valleys of the ocean surface from orbit, 1300km above the earth.
‘Over 90 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases is warming the ocean,’ said Josh Willis, oceanographer and mission scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
‘That causes the water to expand and get taller.’
Melted water from warming glaciers and ice sheets adds to rising sea levels, making their precise long-term measurement important.
‘These two things together really provide a global footprint of human caused climate change in a way that no other indicator or measurement does,’ Willis said.
Traveling at more than 6-km per second, the satellite will be able to return data from every point on the globe every 10 days.
‘There’s a radar attached to the satellite,’ Willis said.
‘It bounces a radar wave off the surface of the ocean and measures how long it takes to go down and come back. This gives us a very simple estimate of the distance between the satellite and the ocean.’