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.
Welcome to ‘Monitoring Atmospheric Composition from Space’.
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.
Why we monitor the Earth’s atmosphere
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The atmosphere is made up of complex layers comprises of different air composition and atmospheric pressure.
The Anthropocene is the current geological age, during which human activity has become the dominant influence on climate and the environment.
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.
There is a variety of satellites that are capable of measuring atmospheric composition, that utilise many different instruments.
In this video John Burrows and Paul Monks go into more detail about atmospheric missions and instruments.
You can use this satellite missions table to explore all of the Earth observation satellite missions that are mentioned throughout this course.
Week 1 end of week exercise and test