Chinese Satellite Delivers Its First Global Carbon Dioxide Maps

The TanSat greenhouse gas monitoring satellite has produced its first global carbon dioxide map.

AsianScientist (Apr. 26, 2018) – TanSat, China’s first greenhouse gas monitoring satellite, has produced its first global carbon dioxide maps. These results, published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, provide further evidence of anthropogenic climate change.

“Global warming is a major problem, for which carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas involved in heating the troposphere,” wrote Dr. Yang Dongxu, first author of the paper and one of the team leaders of the group that analyzes TanSat’s data at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “However, the poor availability of global carbon dioxide measurements makes it difficult to estimate carbon dioxide emissions accurately.”

TanSat, launched in December 2016, is the third satellite in orbit capable of monitoring carbon dioxide with hyperspectral imaging and is China’s first greenhouse gas monitoring satellite.

The satellite measures not only the presence of carbon dioxide, but also what Yang calls carbon dioxide flux—the source and sink of carbon dioxide on Earth’s surface. The satellite can measure carbon dioxide absorption in the near-infrared zone for a better picture of its behavior on and around Earth.

TanSat’s data was validated through carbon dioxide measurements that took on Earth’s surface and a comprehensive algorithm.

“Based on the maps, a seasonal decrease in carbon dioxide concentration from spring to summer in the Northern Hemisphere is obvious and results from a change in the rate of photosynthesis,” Yang wrote.

“Emission hotspots due to anthropogenic activity, such as industrial activity and fossil fuel combustion, are clearly evident in eastern China, the eastern United States, and Europe.”

The TanSat team will continue to gather and analyze global carbon dioxide data in an effort to better understand the concentration and impact of the greenhouse gas.

“The first global CO2 map of April and July in 2017 is a milestone of TanSat’s achievements. With further improvements to data retrieval, it will provide more and better CO2 measurements in future,” Yang said.

The article can be found at: Yang et al. (2018) First Global Carbon Dioxide Maps Produced from TanSat Measurements.


Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences.
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