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Contract signed to build Europe’s carbon dioxide monitoring mission

on 04 August 2020

With the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere approaching levels that humans may have never before experienced, the need to monitor sources of emissions is more urgent than ever – hence the Copernicus Carbon Dioxide Monitoring mission being one of Europe’s new high-priority satellite missions. On 31 July 2020, ESA signed a contract to build the first two satellites that make up the mission.

The mission will be the first to measure how much carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere specifically through human activity.

Although measurements on the ground have made it possible to track general changes in the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, it is not possible to make reliable statements about anthropogenic emissions from individual countries or even individual regions and cities. The new space-based measurements will also allow globally comparable data.

The Copernicus Carbon Dioxide Monitoring, mission, or CO2M for short, aims to close this gap. In turn, data gathered by CO2M will be used to help track and implement targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

These new missions will follow on from the suite of Sentinel missions that are currently at the heart of the EU’s Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. The space component of Copernicus is co-funded by EU and ESA Member States.

More details are available at this link.

Image credit: Pixabay/Foto-RaBe