NASA will launch 2 new satellites this year to track Earth’s rising sea levels

sea level satellite

The two new satellites will provide more detailed information about the rise in sea level on Earth and other changes in the oceans.

The Sentinel-6 / Jason Continuity of Service (Jason-CS) mission, launched in November, will be the longest-running Earth observation mission dedicated to exploring emerging oceans. The spacecraft will deliver the most sensitive water level measurements as it reveals details of rising seas, helping to create an almost 40-year record of the ocean.

A joint U.S.-European satellite mission is following the traces of three S6 missions (TOPEX / Poseidon and Jason-1, Ocean Surface Topography / Jason-2 and Jason-3) that measure the rise in sea level. It is the past 30 years. The previous spacecraft reported that the Earth’s ocean grew by an average of 0.1 inches (3 mm) in the 1990s, which has now risen to 0.13 inches (3.4 mm).
S6 will use two similar satellites (Sentinel-6a and Sentinel-6b) to keep pace with changes in ocean circulation, climate changes such as El Niño and La Niña, and weather. ,

In some ways, global sea level is the most comprehensive measure of how humans change the climate,” said Jose Willis, project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

If you think about it, the global rise in sea level means that 70% of the earth’s surface is getting longer – 70% of the planet is changing shape and growing. So it is changing the entire planet.” That’s what we really measure, “said Willis,

Generations of change

Since the industrial revolution, the widespread use of fossil fuels has released significant amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the earth’s atmosphere. Together, these gases have heated the planet’s atmosphere to ever-higher levels.

Because the oceans cover most of the earth’s surface, they help stabilize the climate by absorbing more than 90% of the heat trapped on the planet through excess greenhouse gas. When the water warms up, it expands and increases the amount of water. The enclosed atmospheric heat also melts ice sheets and glaciers and contributes to the rise in sea level. The sea-level rise rate has continued to increase in the last 25 years.

The Sentinel-6 / Jason-CS consists of two spaceships, the Sentinel-6A, and the Sentinel-6B, which will launch every five years. The Sentinel-6A will launch a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California next year. The sister vehicle will start in 2025.

The spaceship sends impulses to the earth’s surface 800 miles above the planet and measures how long it takes to return to the satellite. This process measures how much water vapor is present on the spaceship’s path. At the same time, the Sentinel-6 / Jason-CS will use GPS and ground-based positioning lasers, as well as a specialized network known as an integrated Doppler orbitography and radio position satellite (Doris). In combination, the technology measures the height of the ocean with an accuracy of about one inch.

The Sentinel-6 / Jason-CS collects global ocean data every 10 days to gain insight into major ocean features such as El Niño events. In contrast to its predecessors, the spaceship will be able to offer insights into the complex ocean-like features of small oceans, which will benefit navigation and fishing communities.

The rise in global sea level is one of the most expensive and disruptive effects of climate change,” said Willis. “In our lifetime, we don’t see a significant drop in global sea level. We literally record how much sea-level rise we will have to deal with in the next generations.”

“The production and consumption of fossil fuels started with coal – the first reports date from 4000 BC in China when black lignite (one of the many forms of coal) was carved. 1. However, large-scale combustion deals with coal usually around the beginning of the industrial revolution. “

“Most man-made (anthropogenic) greenhouse gases (GHGs) come mainly from fossil fuels – coal, hydrocarbon gas liquids, natural gas, and oil for energy use.”

“In 2017, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels used to generate energy accounted for approximately 76% of the total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States (based on global warming potential) and the total entheogenic CO2 emissions of the United States 93%.

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