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Climate change, the importance of satellites

<strong>Climate change, the importance of satellites</strong>
28 . Jul . 2023

Climate change poses one of the greatest challenges to humanity in the 21st century, and the need for effective tools to monitor and combat its effects has never been more critical.

Satellite data has emerged as a powerful ally in the fight against global warming, providing real-time observations of vital variables on a global scale. Earth observation satellites have played a pivotal role in climate research since the launch of Vanguard 2, the first meteorological satellite, in 1959. Today, the concept of “climate intelligence” has gained traction in the financial world and is proving to be an invaluable asset for companies and institutions seeking to address climate-related risks. Climate intelligence involves generating advanced forecast models based on large sets of historical data. These models aid in mitigating the impact of extreme climate events and support planning and management activities. The urgent need for such intelligence becomes evident when we consider the staggering statistics on climate-related risks and financial vulnerabilities. A study published in Nature Climate Change in 2016 revealed that 16.9% of global financial activities, amounting to approximately US$24.2 trillion, were at risk due to ongoing climate change.

To address the pressing issue of climate change, credible and comprehensive climate data is crucial. Satellite technology has revolutionized the way we collect this data, making it more accessible and cost-effective than ever before. Satellites can continuously collect vast amounts of information, track extreme climate phenomena like floods, fires, droughts, heatwaves, and glacier melting, and complement traditional monitoring tools. They also play a pivotal role in supporting companies with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues by providing valuable insights into climate-related risks, vulnerability assessments, and carbon emissions reduction strategies.

Greenhouse gas monitoring is another crucial application of satellite data. Multiple sources of data, including climate trace information collected from 300 satellites and 11,000 sensors worldwide, are cross-analyzed to identify polluters and measure greenhouse gas emissions accurately. This data-driven approach is fundamental to combating climate change effectively.

Satellite data is also invaluable in identifying hydrogeological risks in regions like Italy and preventing disasters. Italy’s exposure to seismic, volcanic, and hydrogeological risks necessitates constant monitoring, and the utilization of satellite technology, such as the Iride Satellite Constellation System and the Meteosat Third Generation Imager-1 (Mtg-I), enhances early identification of threats and improves weather forecasts.

The increasing reliance on satellite data and climate intelligence has given rise to new professional profiles focused on climate change and data analysis. From Satellite Climate Data Experts to Climate Communication Experts, these specialists play a vital role in bridging the gap between data and informed action to combat climate change.

CESI is proud of its 30 years of experience in the research, development, and production of high-efficiency solar cells for space applications that will increasingly play a key role against climate change

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