Japan launches satellite to track greenhouse gases
Japan on Friday launched the world’s first satellite that will exclusively collect data on greenhouse gas emissions around the world, as part of global efforts to tackle climate change. The Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) will help scientists calculate the density of carbon dioxide and methane from nearly the entire surface of the Earth, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said.
A Japanese rocket carrying GOSAT and seven other satellites blasted off at 12:54 pm (0354 GMT) from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Kagoshima prefecture after a two-day delay due to bad weather.
GOSAT, dubbed “Ibuki”, which means “breath” in Japanese, will collect data from 56,000 locations around the world, according to the space agency.
The satellite will produce accurate data of greenhouse gas emissions around the world, including in developing countries where observation points have been lacking, despite their increasing volume of gas emissions.
“In order to promote global warming countermeasures, it is essential to monitor the state of global warming precisely,” JAXA said on its website.
GOSAT is equipped with two sensors. One will track infrared rays from the sun that are reflected from the Earth’s surface or the atmosphere, helping to calculate the density of greenhouse gases.
The other will monitor clouds and aerosols as they often lead to errors in calculation. The satellite, which is set to be in orbit for five years, 660 kilometres above ground, will release preliminary data nine months after the launch. afp