Blog about UN Climate Change Conference in Bali 3-14 December 2007 and other related issues

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Satellite 'sentinels' to help track climate change

A European project to monitor the continent's climate from space could provide a boost in the fight against climate change.

The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security project (GMES) will eventually consist of five satellites--or "sentinels"--that will monitor different climate elements.

The project has been jointly developed by the European Commission and European Space Agency and is aimed at generating data to inform government policy for combating climate change and help plan for the effects of the changes already taking place.

Each satellite would provide different data sets, such as ocean-monitoring information (temperature, color, level) and atmospheric data.

Speaking at a panel discussion in Westminster, U.K., professor Alan O'Neill, director of the National Centre for Earth Observation, said, "I think that the GMES could be a critical contribution to an Earth information system."

The project could provide "assured continuity of crucial data sets" that could help understand and predict climate change and inform policy making in hundreds of years, he added.

Professor David Crichton, consultant on insurance and climate change, cited a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that suggests government policy now needs to focus on making the infrastructure more resilient to climate change.

There are firm plans for the first three sentinels--with launches expected in 2011 or 2012--but plans for the final two satellites are less certain due to funding issues.

O'Neill said the U.K. has to do more than it has done so far to ensure results of the data-gathering can be quickly made into policy. "If the U.K. gets its act together, it can get involved in the building of (GMES)," he said.

Stuart Martin, director of space and satellite communications at LogicaCMG, which is heavily involved in the project, said the U.K. isn't putting enough money into the GMES pot.

Michael Jack, chairman of the U.K.'s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, agreed. He said, "There is a sort of reluctance in our system to spend any money on space."

ohn Higgins, director general of IT industry association Intellect, added, "The perceptions of this topic are quite different around the world. There are actions that need to be taken."

But Jack said the U.K. decision makers need to be better informed about the project and more effort needs to be made to engage with the public around the project. "At the moment there's a yawning disconnect," he said.

Jack added there are lessons to be learned from the European Galileo project--aimed at rivaling the U.S. GPS satellite system--which has also suffered from a dearth of funding.

The U.K.'s House of Commons Select Committee on Transport has said Galileo is suffering from an "alarming" absence of information.

Source: Cnet News.com

1 comment:

Ethan said...

It's not about CO2 it's about ozone depletion, the evidence for CO2 fell away yet the evidence for climate change grew? We have been accusing greenhouse gasses for so long we didn't know what else there could be, so we kept accusing greenhouse gases like CO2. In the late 1940's the temperature fell for 5 years while both CO2 and solar variance were rising thus ruling them out plain and simple. Yet what did happen was the largest shift in man made radio frequency propagation through the atmosphere. The IPCC has overlooked the fact that our global temperature has been following the rise in broadcast technology for 100 years. It was discovered 30 years ago that radiowaves from a scientific broadcast transmitter could stimulate a known ozone depletion mechanism called electron precipitation. The US knows this and that's why they won't join CO2 restrictions. Don't buy into CO2 until we run tests on electron precipitation. CFC levels have dropped since 2000, but largest ozone hole on record was October 2006! There are two things we put into the atmosphere air and radio pollution, you have to recognize broadcast and it's effects on the environment. Not to do so is blind!!

Broadcast Theory