Week 1 – Our fragile atmosphere and the challenges we face

This week introduces the important role of the Earth’s atmosphere, what the atmosphere is made up of, how we can monitor it, and the challengers it is facing.

Course overview

Welcome to ‘Monitoring Atmospheric Composition from Space’.

Course introduction from the lead educators

In this course, we will introduce you to in situ data and satellite ‘Earth observation’ (EO) technology in monitoring our atmosphere, and to the informative and critically important imagery and data it produces.

Topic 1b - Part 1: Copernicus, CAMS and Global Networks

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) is part of the Copernicus Programme. It provides the capabilities to continuously monitor the Earth Atmosphere at both global and regional scales.

Topic 1b - Part 2: Copernicus, CAMS and Global Networks - The role of satellites in CAMS

Satellite data is an important part of Copernicus and CAMS as it provides a global picture. The Earth observation satellites that provide data for Copernicus are split into two groups of missions: The Sentinel satellites and other contributing missions.

Topic 1c - Part 1: Supporting enterprise and innovative solutions - Data processing and supercomputers

Many businesses and technological innovations are increasingly responding to environmental issues, and the urgent need for sustainability, leading the world to become awash with green innovation, and renewable energy solutions.

Topic 1c – Part 2: Supporting enterprise and innovative solutions - Monitoring clean energy innovations

Helen Ltd based in Finland, produce the most efficient energy in the world. They aim to achieve 100% carbon neutrality in their energy production through their power plants in Helsinki, and currently have around 400,000 customers throughout Finland.

Topic 1c - Part 3: Supporting enterprise and innovative solutions - Other examples

In this video Paul Monks and Martin Adams will talk about some more examples of how atmospheric data supports enterprises and innovative solutions, and Iolanda Ialongo talks about how satellite measurements help with rules and regulation.

Topic 1d - Unravelling the complex structure of the Atmosphere

The atmosphere is made up of complex layers comprises of different air composition and atmospheric pressure.

Topic 1e - Climate change and the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene is the current geological age, during which human activity has become the dominant influence on climate and the environment.

Topic 1f - What we measure – overview of key parameters

Through the use of satellites and in situ data, many different elements of the atmosphere can be measured. It is important to use both satellite and in situ data so we can get as many measurements as possible.

Topic 1g - Part 1: Satellite measurements - Measuring the absorption of light in the atmosphere

There is a variety of satellites that are capable of measuring atmospheric composition, that utilise many different instruments.

Topic 1g - Part 2: Satellite measurements - Example instruments and missions

In this video John Burrows and Paul Monks go into more detail about atmospheric missions and instruments.

Course EO satellite missions table

You can use this satellite missions table to explore all of the Earth observation satellite missions that are mentioned throughout this course.

Week 1 interactive exercise and test

Week 1 end of week exercise and test