Los Angeles, Cali. (WLNS)–On Saturday, NASA will launch a new satellite into earth’s orbit to help scientists study a growing threat. Researchers are hopeful the mission will help them better understand the dangerous rise in sea levels.
Ben Hamlington is a research scientist with the Sentinel-6 mission. The Sentinel-6 will use radar altimetry to provide near-real time measurements of sea-surface height; tracking changes down to mere centimeters. That high-precision data will help scientists better understand both the cause and effect of sea-level rise around the globe.
It will also record wind speeds and study the atmosphere, which will help scientists track climate patterns and better forecast the weather.
The satellite joins a fast-growing network of observatories from several space agencies working together to track climate change.
Researchers say understanding sea-level rise is among their most urgent tasks – with some u-s coastal cities like Miami, Florida already experiencing flooding from rising levels. The number of people living in coastal areas is expected to double by 2060.
Sentinel-6 is set to carry out its mission for at least 5 years. Its replacement, the Sentinel 6-b, is already slated to launch in 2025, to keep the study going.