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ISRO's new satellite to study greenhouse gases

CHENNAI (PTI): With growing importance being placed on climate change and mitigation strategies, Indian space agency ISRO is in the process of launching a satellite to study greenhouse gases.

“In the next 2-3 years, ISRO will carry out the first of the launches which will be dedicated to (studying) greenhouses gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide and things of that kind,” Planning Commission Member and former chief of ISRO, Dr K Kasturirangan told reporters here on Monday.

The satellite was in design stages and the Ministry of Environment and Forests, which will play a substantial role in the funding of this project, has asked ISRO if the measurements relating to the gases could be made globally.

“The US and Japan have already put such satellites and the idea is to see if India can look at the greenhouse gases using satellite sensors,” Kasturirangan said.

He said the Environment Ministry has decided that such missions will be also supported in a big way by it.

“So there is going to be a partnership. ISRO alone is not going to do it. The Ministry will have a substantial role in that partnership. How much and what kind of terms (of funding), they will work out,” he said.
Such an effort will not only be useful in policy-making but also act as evidence of “something happening,” he said.

ISRO was also planning a 50 metre geosynchronous altitude imaging mission to monitor vegetation, flooding and probably even forest fire, Kasturirangan said.

“Because 50 metres itself is a fairly good resolution. So there is a hope that forest fire can be detected using this. But they have to do lot of experimentation before they can come to do that,” he said.

The Environment Ministry also wanted to know whether some satellite could look at the coastal zone dynamics and monitoring, he said. “But this needs to be looked into by ISRO,” he said.


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