Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Better climate predictions within grasp
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Apr 15, 2014

The TRUTHS proposal (and its US sister CLARREO) has been around for some time but a relatively high price tag meant it previously struggled to secure funding. Thanks to a new approach developed over the past year, and technological advances, it was possible to reduce the complexity of the TRUTHS mission whilst still achieving the accuracy of data needed.

A proposed satellite mission - that will improve our understanding of the consequences of climate change and could save the global economy up to $30 trillion - has received funding to develop a more detailed design of the technology and identify partners. It is hoped the satellite could be in orbit in 3-5 years.

The proposed TRUTHS (Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio- Studies) mission would see a satellite launched which can make very high accuracy measurements of key indicators of climate change to test and constrain the forecasts of climate models- providing the unequivocal evidence to oblige global consensus action on adoption of appropriate mitigation strategies. The project is being lead by the National Physical Laboratory.

The satellite would have a factor of ten better accuracy than current satellites, and also be able to calibrate and upgrade the performance of other Earth Observation satellites in space. This would significantly improve our understanding of climate change. It would also improve the quality and value of information from Earth observation data in general, leading to improved weather forecasting, food production and monitoring the health of forests- natural sinks of carbon.

The TRUTHS proposal (and its US sister CLARREO) has been around for some time but a relatively high price tag meant it previously struggled to secure funding. Thanks to a new approach developed over the past year, and technological advances, it was possible to reduce the complexity of the TRUTHS mission whilst still achieving the accuracy of data needed.

Recognising its importance, the UK's space agency through its Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation and Space Technology (CEOI-ST) has stepped in to support the project. Having funded the updated approach to the mission, it has now announced additional funding to develop a more detailed design of the instrumentation- allowing more accurate costing and help to identify international partners to form a potential bilateral mission.

Greater accuracy is necessary for climate model forecasts to be trusted. The predicted degree of global warming is based on how models treat factors such as cloud cover and height, aerosols and water vapour in the air. This requires detection of very small trends - eg a 1% change in high cloud cover per decade which using current instruments would take at least 30 years.

The TRUTHS mission would reduce the time to get a clear picture of the impact of climate change to nearly one third (~12 yrs). Background noise from natural variability makes measurements over periods shorter than 12 years unreliable, even if we could measure with greater accuracy. So TRUTHS represents the best climate monitoring we can ever achieve.

An economic study in 2013 suggests the improved confidence in the evidence from such a mission could mean a global economic saving of $5 to $30 trillion in averted damages through better mitigation and adaptation policies which reflect the realities of climate change. The urgency is reinforced by an international report 'strategy towards an architecture for climate monitoring from space' which, has the TRUTHS mission at its heart.

A secondary objective of the mission would enable better monitoring of the health of crops and forests, which would help to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce world food shortages, whilst supporting sustained commercial growth, underpinning investments in future carbon markets and providing risk management for the insurance and energy sectors.

Dr Nigel Fox, Head of Earth Observation and Climate at NPL, who is leading the project said: "The recent IPCC findings make scary reading. But whilst we are pretty certain about man-made climate change, we don't really know what the effects will be or how quickly they will happen. If governments are to make decisions significantly constraining carbon emissions or major investments like spending money on a new Thames Barrier or relocating entire populations, we need to be pretty sure we are doing the right thing at the right time. Until we know this, it will be all too easy for governments to procrastinate until it's too late."

"As climate predictions look increasingly frightening, the world is waking up to the need to know exactly what will happen so we can plan and respond properly. In addition to the next stage of funding from CEOI-ST, the Chinese Government have started to seriously look at building a satellite using the concepts developed for the TRUTHS proposal. All being well, TRUTHS - or something like it - could be in orbit within 3-5 years and we can finally move from what the impact of climate change might be to what it will be".


Related Links
Centre for Carbon Measurement
The Air We Breathe at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Appearance of Night-Shining Clouds Has Increased
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 11, 2014
First spotted in 1885, silvery blue clouds sometimes hover in the night sky near the poles, appearing to give off their own glowing light. Known as noctilucent clouds, this phenomenon began to be sighted at lower and lower latitudes - between the 40th and 50th parallel - during the 20th century, causing scientists to wonder if the region these clouds inhabit had indeed changed - information t ... read more

Russian Federal Space Agency is elaborating Moon exploration program

Science, Discovery Channels to broadcast private race to the moon

Take the Plunge: LADEE Impact Challenge

Land a Lunar Laser Reflector Now!

Mars' halcyon times may have been fleeting

Gusev Crater once held a lake after all

Mars Exploration in a Deep Mine

Images From NASA Mars Rover Include Bright Spots

Veggie Will Expand Fresh Food Production on ISS

Reporters See NASA's Latest High Tech Exploration Tool Before Testing

Recycling astronaut urine for energy and drinking water

Orion Avionics System Ready for First Test Flight

China launches experimental satellite

Tiangong's New Mission

"Space Odyssey": China's aspiration in future space exploration

China to launch first "space shuttle bus" this year

Dragon Cargo Craft Launch Scrubbed; Station Crew Preps for Spacewalk

Backup ISS computer breaks down, requiring possible spacewalk

No politics in space: ISS example of what Russia, US can achieve working together

Sakura tree grown in space blooms in Japan

NASA Ames Launches Nanosatellites, Science Experiments on SpaceX Rocket

On-board camera provides a unique perspective on Arianespace Flight VS07

The DZZ-HR satellite is fueled for Arianespace's upcoming Vega launch

EUTELSAT 3B Mission Status Update

Chance meeting creates celestial diamond ring

Faraway Moon or Faint Star? Possible Exomoon Found

The Importance of Planetary Plumes

Orbital physics is child's play with 'Super Planet Crash'

Middle Eastern country orders more border radar

Refreshingly cool, potentially toxic

Vanguard Space Technologies Antenna Reflectors on Amazonas Satellite Launch

Headwall Extends Global Reach in Asia/Pac and Israel

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.