Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

PhD student filters water vapour information from satellite data

24.10.2002


PhD student Rüdiger Lang has developed a method to obtain information about water vapour from satellite data not specifically measuring this. The research is part of a project from the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF), the Space Research Organisation Netherlands (SRON) and the Free University of Amsterdam.



Water vapour has a greenhouse effect three times stronger than that of carbon dioxide. Therefore a good picture as to the presence, distribution and influence of water vapour in the atmosphere is important. Observations of the atmosphere and the earth`s surface from a number of satellites orbiting the earth contain hidden information about water vapour.

In laboratory experiments, Rüdiger Lang determined the exact `fingerprints` which water molecules leave behind on the signal that satellites measure for the atmosphere as a whole. An instrument in such a satellite looks through the earth’s atmosphere and measures the characteristics of the sunlight which is reflected by the earth`s surface (land, sea, ice, clouds).


The reflected light contains a large number of absorption lines. These are narrow parts of the spectrum where the light is weakened by specific molecules or atoms in the atmosphere. The form of the lines depends on the concentrations of molecules or atoms and their distribution throughout the atmosphere. As water molecules influence their environment, they leave behind a `fingerprint` on the absorption lines. The researchers found that the most accurate predictions were obtained when the very weak absorption lines were used.

An important element in the research was the development of efficient detection methods. Both existing and future satellites gather enormous quantities of measurement data. Unless this can be processed efficiently, it takes far too long to obtain up-to-date data. The methods developed will also be usable for other greenhouse gases.

The greenhouse effect is a socially important issue, yet without the greenhouse effect the earth would be uninhabitable. The quantity of water in the atmosphere alone ensures that the average temperature on the earth is 14oC higher than would be the case if there were no water in the atmosphere. As the average temperature on earth is 14oC then without this water large parts of our planet would be in an ice age. Information about the quantity of water is particularly important if the greenhouse effect is to be fully understood. Water occurs in the atmosphere in three different forms: as ice crystals, water drops and gas (water vapour). Therefore, the influence of water vapour in the atmosphere is complex and the effect is further complicated by the fact that the quantity of water in the atmosphere can vary considerably from place to place.

Michel Philippens | alfa

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht How to detect water contamination in situ?
22.09.2016 | Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU)

nachricht Quantifying the chemical effects of air pollutants on oxidative stress and human health
12.09.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

Im Focus: Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.

In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...

Im Focus: New laser joining technologies at ‘K 2016’ trade fair

Every three years, the plastics industry gathers at K, the international trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will also be attending again and presenting many innovative technologies, such as for joining plastics and metals using ultrashort pulse lasers. From October 19 to 26, you can find the Fraunhofer ILT at the joint Fraunhofer booth SC01 in Hall 7.

K is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. As in previous years, the organizers are expecting 3,000 exhibitors and more than...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

ICPE in Graz for the seventh time

20.09.2016 | Event News

Using mathematical models to understand our brain

16.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stronger turbine blades with molybdenum silicides

26.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Scientists Find Twisting 3-D Raceway for Electrons in Nanoscale Crystal Slices

26.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Lowering the Heat Makes New Materials Possible While Saving Energy

26.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>