How Satellites Can Help Win the Climate Fight

Q: How has space-based technology contributed to our ability to understand and address climate change?

"Since 1972 the U.S. Geological Survey Landsat Earth Observation satellites have been providing an alarming picture of the planet changing quickly: shrinking polar ice caps, shrinking rainforests, ocean pollution, and a range of climate and other environmental impacts.

Today, with over 5,000 operating satellites in orbit, all told, we can spot illegal resource extraction—mining, logging, and fishing as it’s happening. Specialized sensors such as multispectral remote sensing systems to measure the sources of greenhouse gas emissions and synthetic aperture radar to estimate forest canopy.

Space technology can also contribute to both energy security and our climate goals."

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