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Taking gravity from strength to strength

20 March 2019

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Ten years ago, ESA launched one of its most innovative satellites. GOCE spent four years measuring a fundamental force of nature: gravity. This extraordinary mission not only yielded new insights into our gravity field, but led to some amazing discoveries about our planet, from deep below the surface to high up in the atmosphere and beyond. And, this remarkable mission continues to realise new science today.

Because of factors such as the planet's rotation, the position of mountains and ocean trenches and different densities in materials in Earth's interior, the force of gravity at Earth's surface varies from place to place.

Mapping these differences is important for measuring ocean circulation, sea-level change and for understanding otherwise hidden processes occurring deep inside the planet, for example.

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Glaciers lose nine trillion tonnes of ice in half a century

8 April 2019

When we think of climate change, one of the first things to come to mind is melting polar ice. However, ice loss isn't just restricted to the polar regions. According to research published today, glaciers around the world have lost well over 9000 gigatonnes (nine trillion tonnes) of ice since 1961.

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