In DepthSpace Science

Europe to lead in monitoring carbon from space

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Science  06 Dec 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6470, pp. 1176-1177
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6470.1176

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Summary

Even optimists at the European Space Agency (ESA) were startled last week when its member governments awarded it a €12.5 billion, 3-year budget, its largest ever and more than 20% above its previous 3 years of funding. With the unexpected windfall, ESA will develop a reusable space cargo capsule, support the International Space Station until 2030, and join NASA in retrieving rocks from Mars. But one of the biggest winners, up 29% to €1.8 billion, is Copernicus, a program supporting a fleet of satellites that continuously tracks features of Earth's atmosphere and surface, including the contours of the sea surface and shifts in vegetation. The money will help Europe expand the fleet to observe humanmade sources of carbon dioxide on a daily basis—making ESA the only space agency capable of monitoring pledges made under the Paris accord to cut greenhouse gases.

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