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Envisat enables first global check of regional methane emissions

tain any useful results from the troposphere: there are many issues to be overcome for example the cloud cover, the low reflectivity from the surface, and the fact that stratospheric species lie between the troposphere and the satellite.

"Our calculations showed that it is possible and we are now finding it can be done. The instrument is being used to retrieve the columns of several key tropospheric trace gases - not only methane but also nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and dioxide, sulphur dioxide, formaldehyde, bromine monoxide, water vapour, and ozone are retrieved. In addition SCIAMACHY yields many important cloud and aerosol parameters as well as ocean colour."

Research groups at the Universities of Bremen and Heidelberg, KNMI and the Netherlands National Institute for Space Research (SRON) have been working on the retrieval of methane and carbon dioxide from SCIAMACHY.

This activity is supported by the European Union project EnVisat for Environmental Regulation of GREENhouse gases (EVERGREEN), using Envisat data as a first step towards monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, sinks and sources as required by Kyoto.

"The success and stability of SCIAMACHY so far is a tribute to the instrument builders, operators and data retrievers, and an important step on the way to establishing an operational global observing system for the Earth's atmosphere," adds Burrows. "This is something we need as we enter the new geological age of the Anthropocene, where mankind is the driver of climate change."

SCIAMACHY was preceded by a smaller scale version of the instrument called the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME), flown on ESA's ERS-2 in 1995. The newest member of this family of atmospheric spectrometers is called GOME-2. Due to launch aboard the MetOp satellite next year, it will be dedicated to operational ozone monitoring.

Into the future, Professor Burrows and his team have also proposed the Geostationary Scann
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Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
mariangela.dacunto@esa.int
39-069-418-0856
European Space Agency
18-Mar-2005


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