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Satellite aims to answer ice cap question

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Satellite aims to answer ice cap question

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With the aim of determining whether and how quickly polar ice caps are shrinking, the European Space Agency will launch CryoSat-2.

It is a special satellite designed to precisely measure the thickness of both land and sea ice.

CryoSat-2 should be launched in February next year.

ESA astronaut Arne Christer Fuglesang said: “It’s orbiting around earth at 700 kilometres and it’s almost going polar circles, it’s covering the whole earth, and it has a very sophisticated radar, a synthetic aperture radar, which kind of will be able to measure the thickness of the ice.”

The thickness can vary, from just a few centimetres in places to several kilometres over Antarctica and Greenland.

Observations made over the three-year mission should provide conclusive evidence about the rate at which the polar caps may be melting.

Euronews European Affairs Reporter Johannes Bahrke concluded: “With its satellites, ESA hopes to understand climate change a bit better; with this exhibition, it hopes to explain it a bit better; and it also wants to help with its data, here in Copenhagen.”

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