The European Space Agency has launched a satellite to study how the Earth’s northern and southern extremities are responding to climate change. Cryosat blasted into space from the Plessetsk cosmodrome in north western Russia, launched by a Russian rocket.It will measure changes in land and sea ice thickness over a three year period. The question of whether global climate change is causing the polar ice caps to shrink is one of the most intensely debated environmental issues. ESA says CryoSat could provide a definitive answer. It is generally accepted by scientists that the Earth’s climate is warming but the impact on the polar caps has, until now, been difficult to predict accurately.