British scientists are preparing to launch a revolutionary satellite that will provide precise measurements of the earth’s gravitational field, which will in turn provide exact measurements of ocean currents. So why is that important? Well, ocean currents transport heat around the planet— and that means that the currents have a huge impact on the earth’s climate.
The €330 million satellite will map the planet’s gravitational field once every 70 days for 18 months. It will orbit at a low altitude—160 miles—in order to measure tiny gravitational fluctuations.
Expect the satellite to be in orbit in the next two weeks. And if you happen to be at the Plesetsk cosmodrome near Moscow, you can even watch it launch.
I do wonder about the practical applications of the satellite besides the knowledge of which areas of the world are about to be clobbered by global warming. Still, even that is useful, as people in affected regions will be able to prepare for what lies ahead. And maybe it will once and for all prove to global warming deniers that climate change isn’t a farce.Original here