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Climate experts search for answers in the oceans

e Villefranche explained. "The risk is that we may find the warming of the sea and the modification of the water circulation patterns may cut off or modify some of that primary production, so it is important to know both sea-surface temperature and ocean colour."

In order to make the most of all satellite information available on ocean colour and sea-surface temperature, ESA is merging data from state-of-the-art instruments aboard different satellites. GlobCOLOUR uses data from colour sensors such as MERIS aboard ESA’s Envisat as well as MODIS carried aboard NASA’s Aqua and SeaWiFS aboard GeoEye's Orbview-2 satellite. Medspiration utilises data from ESA’s Envisat and Meteosat-8, the United States?National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) polar orbiters, the Japanese’s Space Agency-NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and the AMSRE instrument onboard NASA's Aqua.

"Over the last five years there has been a concerted effort by the world space agencies to share and develop satellite ocean temperature measurements together for the benefit of all, and we can expect improvements in operational weather and ocean predictions based on the application of these products," Dr Craig Donlon of the Met Office, United Kingdom, said. "ESA should be proud of their leading role in supporting these efforts through the International GODAE High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature Pilot Project Office (GHRSST-PP) and the highly successful Medspiration Project."

The large volume of data acquired by satellite observations gives scientists a uniquely detailed view of the changing physical characteristics of ocean surfaces, but long-term series of satellite measurements are required in order to detect trends.

The National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), part of the United States?National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is archiving these data sets to encourage data exchange and preserving them for long-term use. '"/>

Source:European Space Agency


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