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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Air quality under new scrutiny

28 October 2014

As part of the preparations for the Sentinel-5 Precursor air-quality monitoring mission, scientists teamed up in Romania recently to test different airborne systems that will be used to ensure this new satellite delivers accurate measurements of pollutants in the air we breathe.

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Good and bad news for our atmosphere

29 September 2014

Data from ESA's veteran Envisat satellite show ups and downs in the concentrations of the air pollutant nitrogen dioxide and the climate-relevant greenhouse gas carbon dioxide across the globe.

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Paving the way for carbon mission

15 September 2014

Scientists met in California this summer to test new methods for measuring greenhouse gases. This joint effort helps to show how ESA's CarbonSat candidate satellite mission could identify sources of carbon dioxide and methane and how they disperse in the atmosphere.

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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.