NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) announced for the first time a strategic partnership to observe the earth and its changing environment. The global climate is changing rapidly, and the demand for accurate, up-to-date and practical knowledge is growing more than ever. NASA and ESA support the right direction to tackle climate change.
This partnership aims to combat and curb climate change through earth observation, and the two parties will work together in the fields of earth science observation, research and application. The association was formally established through a memorandum of understanding signed on Tuesday. It describes how agencies will cooperate to ensure the continuity of ground-based observations; deepen the understanding of the Earth system, climate change, and the application of this knowledge; and contribute to open data guidelines to promote the scientific community and the public’s internal data and information to establish open exchange of knowledge.
NASA and ESA have long successfully collaborated to understand climate change. In 2020, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and European partners including ESA launched the Sentinel6 Michael Freilich satellite, which collects the most accurate global sea level and sea level rise data to deal with climate change. The mission collects atmospheric temperature and humidity data to improve climate models and weather forecasts.
“There is no doubt that space is the best place to measure and monitor climate change, but joint forces are also the key to solving this global problem,” said Josef Aschbacher, CEO of ESA. “This is why the agreement between our organizations today is so important. Timing is also important, especially when we see the COP26 climate conference later this year, we will have the opportunity to make space an indispensable solution to climate change.
In May, NASA announced that its Earth System Observatory, that will develop a series of new earth missions to provide real-time critical information for work related to climate change, disaster control, fire protection, and agricultural improvement.
Without reliable climate observations and research, efforts to adapt and mitigate climate change cannot be successful. NASA has more than two dozen satellites and instruments to monitor changes in the climate of Earth and measure key climate indicators, such as oceans and inland water levels, clouds and precipitation, and carbon dioxide.