Satellites are key to monitoring ocean carbon

Satellites now play a key role in monitoring carbon levels in oceans, but we are only now beginning to understand their full potential.


Our ability to predict future climate relies on being able to monitor where our carbon emissions go. We will need to know how much stays in the atmosphere, or becomes stored in the oceans or on land. The oceans in particular have helped to slow climate change as they absorb and store the carbon for thousands of years. This critical role the oceans play in regulating our climate will require monitoring and understanding.

Keeping an eye on the oceans will be a huge job, in part because of their sheer mass, covering 70% of the Earth’s surface…a perfect opportunity for satellites to shine.


Satellites previously launched to study the movement of wind can also observe the waves, foam and temperature and how they combine to control the movement of heat and carbon dioxide  between the ocean and the atmosphere.

Further , satellites used to monitor gas emissions over land can also be used to measure carbon dioxide  emissions as they disperse over water.

By monitoring the oceans we can gather the necessary information to help protect ecosystems at risk.

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