Rising sea levels due to global warming needs continuous monitoring as oceans occupy more than 70 percent earth surface. This monitoring is done by Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM).
Some of the interesting features of OSTM are:
- the objective is to measure sea surface heights to an accuracy of 2.5 centimetres every 10 days from space to determine ocean circulation, climate change and sea level rise.
- a low-earth orbiting satellite having a radar altimeter measures sea surface heights.
- to meet this objective Jason-2 satellite was successfully launched on June 20 from Space Launch Complex 2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
- is a joint effort by four international organizations namely
- Jason-2 satellite is follow up of earlier TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 satellites.
- the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French Space Agency, has successfully processed the first Operational Data Record (OGDR) product received from Jason-2 after 48 hours of its launch.
Here is the fact sheet of OSTM/Jason-2.
Here is Jason-2 launch description.
Here is the launch video of Jason-2.
More information is available at BBC News.
Here are some related posts:
- World at six degrees of global warming
- Global warming takes toll of walrus due to stampede
- How global warming impacts marine environment
Update: June 28
Here is an interesting video clip on OSTM from JPL-NASA.
Update: July 31
Within a month of launching, OSTM /Jason 2 oceanography satellite has produced its first complete maps of global ocean surface topography, surface wave height and wind speed. Read more from NASA – OSTM/Jason-2.
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