To ensure that data from Earth observation satellites is used in the best possible way, advance science, and ultimately bring the greatest benefit to humanity, the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA have formed a association strategy for Earth sciences and climate change.
“We are already witnessing the effects of climate change through rising temperatures, rising sea levels, melting ice and melting permafrost, for example. Both ESA and NASA have excellent tools and the experience to advance Earth science, so working together we can achieve much more, “said ESA Acting Director of Earth Observation Programs, Toni Tolker-Nielsen.
The partnership was formalized this Tuesday through the signing of a declaration of intent between the director general of ESA, Josef Aschbacher, and the administrator of NASA, Bill Nelson. This declaration aims to pave the way to lead a global response to climate change, through monitoring the Earth and its surroundings with their combined efforts in observations, research and applications of Earth sciences.
“Climate change is a global challenge that requires action now,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “NASA and ESA are leading the way in space, building a strategic partnership unprecedented in the science of space. Earth. This agreement will set the standard for future international collaboration, providing the information that is so essential to addressing the challenges posed by climate change and helping to answer and address the most pressing questions in Earth science for the benefit of States. United, Europe and the world “.
NASA and ESA have worked together before
However, this is not the first time that ESA and NASA have joined forces. For example, teams from both agencies worked together on field campaigns in the Arctic to validate their respective CryoSat and ICESat missions. They also work together and with other partners on the recently launched Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission, a new mission to extend the legacy of sea surface height measurements until at least 2030.
In May, NASA announced its Earth System Observatory, which will design a new set of Earth-centric missions to provide key information to guide efforts related to climate change, disaster mitigation, wildfire fighting, and upgrading. of agricultural processes in real time. The joint statement of intent complements the ongoing activities for the Earth System Observatory.
Additionally, ESA and NASA are currently defining a new gravity mission to shed new light on essential processes in the Earth system, such as the water cycle. For example, you will “weigh” the water in its various locations, such as underground and in the oceans, to understand the distribution and transport of the body of water.
Through the new strategic partnership, ESA and NASA will explore and develop new ways of working together, achieving synergy between their activities, coordinating and cooperating on key strategic policy, scientific and programmatic interests, and identifying processes to work together in ways more efficient and faster.