A satellite which will help the scientists understand the climate change by monitoring the global carbon dioxide has been launched by China. The name of the satellite is TanSat and it weighs 620 kilograms.
Long March-2D rocket carried the TanSat and placed it into the orbit. The satellite was blasted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China’s Gobi Desert on Thursday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The launch comes hours after China lifted a red alert that remained for a week for the worst smog that affected around 40 cities in the country.
The TanSat launch marks the 243rd mission of the Long March series rockets. A Long March rocket carried a high-resolution micro-nano satellite and two spectrum micro-nano satellites for agricultural and forestry monitoring.
After Japan and the US, China is the third country to monitor greenhouse gases through its own satellite. Yin Zengshan, chief designer of TanSat at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) micro-satellite research institute said that the satellite was sent into a sun synchronous orbit about 700 kms above the earth.
It will monitor the concentration, distribution and flow of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere he added.
The satellite will not only help in understanding the climate change but will also provide independent data to China’s policy makers.
TanSat is on a three-year mission during which it will thoroughly examine global carbon dioxide levels every 16 days accurate to at least 4 ppm (parts per million), the report said.
According to Yin, the TanSat will allow China to fetch first-hand emissions data and share it with researchers across the world.
Committed to reducing their carbon emissions, more than 100 countries signed the Paris agreement on climate change, which came into effect on November 4.
The satellite TanSat will help evaluate whether these countries are fulfilling their commitments towards carbon emissions by tracing the sources of greenhouse gases.
TanSat means a louder voice for China on climate change, carbon reduction and in negotiations with a bigger say on carbon trading.
Beijing had on Wednesday midnight lifted the red alert for air pollution which was put in place following the smog that had been engulfing the city since December 17 and disrupted the normal life.
Beijing woke up this morning with a relatively clear sky.
Since December 17 emergency measures such as even-odd car restrictions will end and classes will resume at schools, official media reports said.
While the red alert was implemented by 23 cities including Beijing, 17 other cities implemented Orange alerts for pollution. PM2.5 density in the capital remained high throughout the period of the red alert.
About the satellite Lu Naimeng, TanSat chief scientist said concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased from 280 ppm to 400 ppm over the past 150 years, leading to an increase in average global temperatures of about 0.7 degrees Celsius over the last century.
China’s CO2 emissions are to peak around 2030, with emissions per unit of GDP cut by 60 percent of 2005 levels by the same date.
(With inputs from PTI)