China’s CO2 satellite yields first Global Carbon dataset

BEIJING: Chinese scientists are contributing their wisdom to global and national efforts to slow down climate change, as they have recently compiled China’s first global carbon flux dataset based on high-quality data collected by the country’s first carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring satellite, the Global Times learned from the project leader on Monday.
The breakthrough means that China has become the third country with the ability to quantitatively monitor the global carbon budget from space. The satellite, commonly known as TanSat, has proven it can perform the task as brilliantly as those from Japan and the US, Yang Dongxu, a fellow researcher with the Institute of Atmospheric Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and also the chief scientist of the project, told the Global Times on Monday.
This significant result has been published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences.
China’s first global carbon flux dataset, derived from TanSat measurements, covers the period from May 2017 to April 2018. Chinese scientists came up with a complicated and original methodology at the processing stage, including retrieval and data assimilation from TanSat spectral measurements and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere to track carbon flux, Yang revealed.
“The processing stage took Chinese scientists around three years before they published the final product, and in the future it will take less time, as they have found a feasible path.”
The estimated result based on the Chinese satellite is roughly consistent with that using Japan’s GOSAT and US OCO-2 satellites, which demonstrates that China’s first CO2 monitoring satellite possesses equally good capability to quantitatively monitor the global carbon flux, according to Yang.
CO2 is an integral part of the Earth’s atmosphere and is considered as a prime cause of climate change and the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities.
Therefore, monitoring emissions on a global scale against one universal standard is a constructive method to assess how each country is contributing to the slowing down of climate change, Wang Jing, one of the scientists behind the the dataset, noted.
Such a dataset will not only be shared among scientific circles around the world, but will also assist clients from government agencies in their work involving local carbon management, Yang explained.
Data from the TanSat and products such as the dataset will be shared freely with the world through theChina Group on Earth Observations TanSat Data Service Archive, Yang said.
– The Daily Mail-Global Times News exchange item