Government-backed satellite to measure climate change launched on SpaceX rocket

Sentinel-6 will allow accurate prediction of sea level rise and storm surge, reducing the risk of damage from unexpectedly high flood

Festival Net Zero 2021

A satellite that will allow UK scientists to measure sea level rise, an impact of climate change, launched on a SpaceX rocket from California over the weekend.

Funded by the UK Space Agency among other contributors from the US and Europe, the project aims to offer valuable data to UK scientists and organisations including the Met Office and the National Oceanography Centre to analyse the rise of global sea levels.

The Sentinel-6 satellite, which is the size of a small 4×4 vehicle and will orbit around Earth 830 miles above our planet, will collect data that is necessary for ocean and weather forecasts and climate understanding in the next decade.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “This government-backed satellite will arm our leading scientists, researchers and meteorologists with critical data to measure the true impact of climate change on our planet, helping improve weather forecasting to better plan for floods and informing our ambitious efforts for a green industrial revolution.”

Dr Matthew Palmer, a Lead Scientist on sea level rise from the Met Office Hadley Centre, commented: “Sea level rise poses one of the greatest socio-economic challenges associated with climate change. Space-based observations since the 1990s have revolutionised our understanding of rates sea-level rise around the globe.”

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