Minimize Overview
A number of live operational products are produced which are aimed at increasing our understanding of the complexity of atmospheric chemistry: both trace gases and aerosols.

Minimize Chemistry
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Monitoring air quality takes next step

28 March 2014

With air pollution linked to millions of deaths around the world, it has never been more important to monitor the air we breathe. Today marks a significant step forward as a deal is secured to build a crucial space sensor for tracking the world's air quality.

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Pinpointing sources of greenhouse gases

05 March 2014

With increasing levels of greenhouse gases causing our climate to change, it is important to understand exactly where these gases come from and how they disperse in the atmosphere. A recent field campaign has shown that a potential new satellite could provide the answers.

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Earth's 'carbon dioxide breathing' seen from space

04 September 2013

Ten years of satellite observations of greenhouse gases reveal that carbon dioxide in our atmosphere continues to increase despite international efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Satellites also show that recent methane increases are likely due to manmade emissions.

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Satellites improve air quality monitoring in South Africa

22 August 2013

Economic development often means an increase of harmful gases into the atmosphere. ESA's GlobEmission project uses satellite data to monitor atmospheric pollution from emissions.

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Smelling Grímsvötn

05 September 2012

While piloting a commercial transatlantic flight last year, Captain Klaus Sievers and his crew got a whiff of an unusual odour. In a confined space 10 km up in the air, there was only one thing it could be. The foul smell with traces of sulphur in the cockpit came from none other than the Grímsvötn volcano that was spewing gas and ash from southeast Iceland.

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Europe clears the air

09 July 2012

Satellite measurements show that nitrogen dioxide in the lower atmosphere over parts of Europe and the US has fallen over the past decade. More than 15 years of atmospheric observations have revealed trends in air quality.

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ESA-China collaboration takes Earth observation to new heights

29 June 2012

ESA and China have been cooperating through the Dragon Programme since 2004 to encourage the use of Earth observation in China. Building on the success of the past years, the programme is taking on more momentum as it enters its third phase.

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SMOS detects freezing soil as winter takes grip

15 December 2011

ESA's SMOS satellite is designed to observe soil moisture and ocean salinity, but this innovative mission is showing that it can also offer new insight into Earth's carbon and methane cycles by mapping soil as it freezes and thaws...

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'Star Wars' laser offers new insight into Earth's atmosphere

05 December 2011

With the need to understand global change one of today's most pressing scientific challenges, ESA is exploring novel techniques for future space missions. Firing laser pulses between satellites is promising a step up in tracking greenhouse gases...

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Clear forecast for weather-monitoring mission

08 November 2011

International partners are looking ahead to Europe's second polar-orbiting mission dedicated to operational meteorology - MetOp-B is set for launch next May...