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ESA launches space mission to measure Earth’s climate change

ESA launches space mission to measure Earth's climate change 86

The European Space Agency (ESA) approved a new mission that aims to measure the climate changes that are happening on Earth. Its main objective will be to provide an accurate measure of the light reflected on Earth.

ESA launches space mission to measure Earth's climate change
Art: The TRUTHS satellite will work with other satellites to calibrate and validate observations. UKSA / NPL

Known as Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio-Studies (TRUTHS), the mission was approved by ESA after a meeting with scientists and engineers from its member states.

The scientific aspect of the mission will be addressed by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) of Great Britain, which plans to equip the TRUTHS satellite with an instrument known as a cryogenic radiometer. This device is used to accurately measure the intensity of a light source.

Using this instrument in conjunction with a hyperspectral camera, TRUTHS will measure how much light is being reflected on the Earth’s surface. This includes the planet’s oceans, deserts, snow fields and forests.

As the data that will be collected by TRUTHS will be the first of its kind, it will serve as a standard for Earth’s reflectivity. They can be used and compared with new data that will be collected in future missions 10 to 15 years from now.

According to the scientists, the information that will be collected by the TRUTHS satellite may help policy makers to approve plans and regulations aimed at environmental issues.

By having a clear idea of ​​the amount of light reflected on Earth, scientists will be able to monitor the planet’s climate fingerprint. Specifically, they will be able to measure the heat radiating from the planet. Future missions can use TRUTH data to check changes in Earth’s climate.

Professor Nigel Fox of the NPL said in a statement, according to BBC:

In doing so, we will be able to detect subtle changes much sooner than with our current observation system.

This will allow us to restrict and test climate forecasting models. Therefore, we will know earlier if the predicted temperatures that the models are giving us are consistent or not with the observations.

The TRUTHS mission does not yet have an exact launch date, but officials from ESA member states plan to deploy it sometime in 2026.

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Planet Earth

A strange phenomenon in the Arctic, the cause of which is unknown

A strange phenomenon in the Arctic, the cause of which is unknown 99

In 2018, a plane flying over the Greenland glaciers noticed strange holes in the ice. NASA scientists cannot yet find the reason for their appearance.

The Arctic is a mysterious place, and as the Earth’s climate changes, it changes faster than scientists can record. So, according to NASA, strange holes began to appear in the ice, and so far no one can understand what causes them. 

The photo was taken by John Sonntag, a scientist working for NASA’s IceBridge operation, an ambitious mission to capture as much detail as possible of the North and South Poles in hopes of figuring out what is happening right now in these remote parts of the planet.

Unfortunately, this photo raises more questions than answers, at least for now. But even though scientists from IceBridge do not have an exact answer to what these holes are, they make assumptions. / These holes may be caused by ice melting due to the water warming under the ice, or they may be air pockets caused by whales or seals. However, for the latter variant the holes are somehow too big. 

NASA even asked its readers on the Internet for advice on what it might be. There were many assumptions, but it is not yet possible to say exactly why these holes formed.

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Planet Earth

Rich people from all over the world are buying submarines

Rich people from all over the world are buying submarines 100
Photo: uboatworx / YouTube

The wealthy around the world will spend millions of dollars on private submarines, following Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, The Times reports.

According to the publication, in the period from 2019 to 2020, it was about the sale of 15 to 25 submarines, however, this number is expected to double in 2021. According to representatives of the three leading submarine manufacturing companies, next year the market will be estimated at 75 million pounds.

Among the first buyers of deep-sea vessels were the owner of Chelsea Football Club Roman Abramovich, the late Microsoft founder Paul Allen and the Emir of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan.

Roy Heijdra of the Dutch company U-Boat Worx noted that wealthy people increasingly want their yachts to be specially equipped for exploration, not just luxury holidays. According to him, ten vessels were sold in 2020 worth up to £ 2.2 million each. Among them was the Nemo model, which is estimated at 875 thousand pounds, has a height of 2.8 meters and can dive to a depth of more than 90 meters with two people on board.

In turn, the executive director of the Florida company Triton, Bruce Jones, said that compared with the previous year sales of submarines this year rose by almost a third, despite the pandemic coronavirus. At the moment, he has about five orders that need to be completed by the beginning of 2021.

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Planet Earth

A prehistoric forest that grew on earth a million years ago was found on the slope of Kilimanjaro

A prehistoric forest that grew on earth a million years ago was found on the slope of Kilimanjaro 101
Photo: earthlymission.com

Just 300 kilometers south of the equator is the highest point in Africa, the potentially active stratovolcano Kilimanjaro, which covers an area of ​​more than 390 hectares. But as a free-standing mountain, the climatic zones of which become less and less like a terrestrial landscape as it rises, Kilimanjaro is especially notable as an incubator for isolated, mutated or rare species that are almost never found anywhere else. 

Recently, on one of the slopes, scientists discovered plants of a prehistoric forest. They grew on Earth a million years ago.

A prehistoric forest that grew on earth a million years ago was found on the slope of Kilimanjaro 102
earthlymission.com

Senecio kilimanjari is a giant plant. It has practically not changed over the past million years, dinosaurs once roamed in the same forests. The territory of the giant groundwort begins at an altitude of 3000 meters. There is less rainfall and therefore the prehistoric forest is not so dense. This only further emphasizes the monumentality of the giant plants standing separately from each other, capable of growing up to 5-7 meters.

A prehistoric forest that grew on earth a million years ago was found on the slope of Kilimanjaro 103
earthlymission.com

To survive in such a harsh environment – high in the mountains, temperatures regularly drop below zero during the night – the plants have developed water accumulation in the core of the stem, the movement of nyctinous leaves (which means that the leaves close when the temperature drops too much), natural ‘antifreeze “And self-isolation due to wilted and dead foliage (one of the reasons terrestrial plants look so strange).

A prehistoric forest that grew on earth a million years ago was found on the slope of Kilimanjaro 104
earthlymission.com

The prehistoric forest rises to about 4,300 meters. Above the slopes of Kilimanjaro, only a barren alpine desert begins, ending in a colossal glacier at the very top of the stratovolcano.

A prehistoric forest that grew on earth a million years ago was found on the slope of Kilimanjaro 105
earthlymission.com

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