Top of the atmosphere view from ISS. Credit: ISS/NASA



Monitoring atmospheric composition from space. Photo credit: ISS/NASA

Top of the atmosphere view from ISS. Credit: ISS/NASA
Top of the atmosphere view from ISS. Credit: ISS/NASA

Satellites monitor air quality, dust, ash and greenhouse gases from space.

Last Updated

15 December 2022

Published on

04 September 2020

Meteosat imagery is used to characterise aerosols in the atmosphere, including volcanic ash and dust, while onboard Metop, the IASI and GOME-2 instruments observe trace gases such as ozone , nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane and aerosols.

In the coming years, EUMETSAT’s role supplying atmospheric observations will further expand as the future Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) and Metop Second Generation (Metop-SG) satellites will carry the Copernicus Sentinel-4 and 5 instruments.

Sentinel-4, onboard MTG, will monitor air quality over Europe every hour at high spatial resolution, while Sentinel-5 will monitor global air quality and climate-related trace gases and aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Both of the Sentinel instruments will work together with existing instruments on the satellites, for instance, Sentinel-4 will work with the new Infrared Sounder (IRS) and imager (FCI) on MTG, and the Sentinel-5 instrument will work with the IASI-NG, 3MI and METimage instruments.

EUMETSAT with its current satellite systems, and even more so with the future Metop-SG and MTG satellites, will also collect a wealth of observations that are relevant for greenhouse gas monitoring, in support of the Paris Climate Agreement.

EUMETSAT delivers atmospheric composition data to its Member States, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), and users worldwide.

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