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Earth Explorers take centre stage at Le Bourget

19 June 2013

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ESA's new Biomass mission and the numerous accomplishments from the existing Earth Explorer satellites came into focus yesterday at the Paris Air and Space Show.

The recently selected Biomass satellite will measure the amount of biomass and carbon stored in the world's forests with greater accuracy than ever before. This information, which is poorly known in the tropics, is essential to our understanding of the role of forests in Earth's carbon cycle and in climate change.

During a press briefing at the Paris Air and Space Show, Biomass Principal Investigator Shaun Quegan spoke about how the mission will address urgent scientific, political and societal issues.

"Carbon dioxide absorption by forests plays a crucial role in understanding climate change, but is very little known. Biomass will be the first mission to provide detailed information on this.

"Forests also play an important environmental role by preventing erosion, reducing avalanche risk and by acting as a gigantic filter for ground water - another suite of factors where the Biomass satellite will deliver crucial information."

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