Showing posts with label Climate Change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate Change. Show all posts

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich International Sea Level Satellite.


The newest addition to a lengthy series of ocean-monitoring satellites, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, becomes the reference satellite for sea level measurements. 

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, the newest US-European sea level satellite, became the official reference spacecraft for worldwide sea level observations on March 22. 

  • This implies that data acquired by other satellites will be compared to Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich's information to confirm that they are accurate. 
  • The satellite, which will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in November 2020, will carry on the nearly 30-year legacy of the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite, which began measuring sea surface height in the early 1990s. 
  • Since then, a succession of successor satellites have continued the mission, the most recent of which is Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich. 

Sentinel-6B, its twin, is set to debut in 2025. 

"These missions, including Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, are the gold standard when it comes to sea level measurements, which are critical for understanding and monitoring climate change," said Josh Willis, project scientist for Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. 

Long-term sea level height measurements are essential for tracking how much and how quickly the waters are rising in a warming environment. 

"We can't lose sight of how much the sea level has risen because if we do, it'll be difficult to anticipate what will happen in the next decades," Willis warned. 

"The unprecedented precision of the sea level measurements provided by this mission ensures not only the continuity of a 30-year data record, but also allows us to better understand climate change and the impact of rising seas on coastal areas and communities," Julia Figa Saldana, ocean altimetry program manager at the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, said (EUMETSAT). 

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich settled into orbit 30 seconds after its predecessor, Jason-3, had launched. 

Since launch, science and engineering teams have spent time ensuring sure Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich was collecting the data it was supposed to be gathering and that the data was correct. 

  • Last year, some of the early data was made accessible for activities such as weather forecasting. 
  • The experts decided that Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich should become the reference satellite for sea level observations following additional validation. 

Jason-3 will be moved into an interleaved orbit later this year by teams. 

  • The ground track – or the strip of Earth that Jason-3's sensors observe as the satellite goes around the world – will run in between the ground tracks of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich's consecutive orbits from that new point. 
  • Although Jason-3 will no longer function as the official reference sea level satellite, it will continue to measure sea level height from its interleaved orbit. 
  • However, by continuing to gather sea level data, Jason-3 will effectively quadruple the number of measurements observed by Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich on each pass, assisting in substantially improving the spatial resolution of both spacecraft' sea level measurements. 

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is one of two satellites that make up the Copernicus Sentinel-6/Jason-CS (Continuity of Service) project. 

It is named after former NASA Earth Science Division Director Michael Freilich. 

  • Sentinel-6/Jason-CS was developed in collaboration with ESA, EUMETSAT, NASA, and NOAA, with financing from the European Commission and performance assistance from CNES (France's National Centre for Space Studies). 
  • EUMETSAT is in charge of spacecraft monitoring and control, as well as the processing of all altimeter scientific data, on behalf of the EU's Copernicus program, with the help of all partner organizations. 
  • The Advanced Microwave Radiometer, the Global Navigation Spacecraft System Radio Occultation, and the Laser Retroreflector Array were all donated by JPL, a subsidiary of Caltech in Pasadena, for each Sentinel-6 satellite. 
  • NASA also provided launch services, ground systems to support the NASA scientific instruments' operations, science data processors for two of the sensors, and assistance for the United States' members of the international Ocean Surface Topography Science Team.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

Find Jai on Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram

You may also want to read more about Space Exploration and Space Systems here.

Further Reading:

To access data from Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, visit:

Artificial Intelligence - Climate Change Crisis And AI.


Artificial intelligence has a double-edged sword when it comes to climate change and the environment.

Artificial intelligence is being used by scientists to detect, adapt, and react to ecological concerns.

Civilization is becoming exposed to new environmental hazards and vulnerabilities as a result of the same technologies.

Much has been written on the importance of information technology in green economy solutions.

Data from natural and urban ecosystems is collected and analyzed using intelligent sensing systems and environmental information systems.

Machine learning is being applied in the development of sustainable infrastructure, citizen detection of environmental perturbations and deterioration, contamination detection and remediation, and the redefining of consumption habits and resource recycling.

Planet hacking is a term used to describe such operations.

Precision farming is one example of planet hacking.

Artificial intelligence is used in precision farming to diagnose plant illnesses and pests, as well as detect soil nutrition issues.

Agricultural yields are increased while water, fertilizer, and chemical pesticides are used more efficiently thanks to sensor technology directed by AI.

Controlled farming approaches offer more environmentally friendly land management and (perhaps) biodiversity conservation.

Another example is IBM Research's collaboration with the Chinese government to minimize pollution in the nation via the Green Horizons program.

Green Horizons is a ten-year effort that began in July 2014 with the goal of improving air quality, promoting renewable energy integration, and promoting industrial energy efficiency.

To provide air quality reports and track pollution back to its source, IBM is using cognitive computing, decision support technologies, and sophisticated sensors.

Green Horizons has grown to include global initiatives such as collaborations with Delhi, India, to link traffic congestion patterns with air pollution; Johannesburg, South Africa, to fulfill air quality objectives; and British wind farms, to estimate turbine performance and electricity output.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the University of Maryland, AI-enabled automobiles and trucks are predicted to save a significant amount of gasoline, maybe in the region of 15% less use.

Smart cars eliminate inefficient combustion caused by stop-and-go and speed-up and slow-down driving behavior, resulting in increased fuel efficiency (Brown et al.2014).

Intelligent driver input is merely the first step toward a more environmentally friendly automobile.

According to the Society of Automotive Engineers and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, linked automobiles equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication might save up to 30% on gasoline (Gonder et al.


Smart trucks and robotic taxis will be grouped together to conserve fuel and minimize carbon emissions.

Environmental robots (ecobots) are projected to make significant advancements in risk monitoring, management, and mitigation.

At nuclear power plants, service robots are in use.

Two iRobot PackBots were sent to Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant to measure radioactivity.

Treebot is a dexterous tree-climbing robot that is meant to monitor arboreal environments that are too difficult for people to access.

The Guardian, a robot created by the same person who invented the Roomba, is being developed to hunt down and remove invasive lionfish that endanger coral reefs.

A similar service is being provided by the COTSbot, which employs visual recognition technology to wipe away crown-of-thorn starfish.

Artificial intelligence is assisting in the discovery of a wide range of human civilization's effects on the natural environment.

Cornell University's highly multidisciplinary Institute for Computer Sustainability brings together professional scientists and citizens to apply new computing techniques to large-scale environmental, social, and economic issues.

Birders are partnering with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to submit millions of observations of bird species throughout North America, to provide just one example.

An app named eBird is used to record the observations.

To monitor migratory patterns and anticipate bird population levels across time and space, computational sustainability approaches are applied.

Wildbook, iNaturalist, Cicada Hunt, and iBats are some of the other crowdsourced nature observation apps.

Several applications are linked to open-access databases and big data initiatives, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, which will include 1.4 billion searchable entries by 2020.

By modeling future climate change, artificial intelligence is also being utilized to assist human populations understand and begin dealing with environmental issues.

A multidisciplinary team from the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms, Microsoft Research, and ConscientAI Labs is using street view imagery of extreme weather events and generative adversarial networks—in which two neural networks are pitted against one another—to create realistic images depicting the effects of bushfires and sea level rise on actual neighborhoods.

Human behavior and lifestyle changes may be influenced by emotional reactions to photos.

Virtual reality simulations of contaminated ocean ecosystems are being developed by Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab in order to increase human empathy and modify behavior in coastal communities.

Information technology and artificial intelligence, on the other hand, play a role in the climate catastrophe.

The pollution created by the production of electronic equipment and software is one of the most pressing concerns.

These are often seen as clean industries, however they often use harsh chemicals and hazardous materials.

With twenty-three active Superfund sites, California's Silicon Valley is one of the most contaminated areas in the country.

Many of these hazardous waste dumps were developed by computer component makers.

Trichloroethylene, a solvent used in semiconductor cleaning, is one of the most common soil pollutants.

Information technology uses a lot of energy and contributes a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.

Solar-powered data centers and battery storage are increasingly being used to power cloud computing data centers.

In recent years, a number of cloud computing facilities have been developed around the Arctic Circle to take use of the inherent cooling capabilities of the cold air and ocean.

The so-called Node Pole, situated in Sweden's northernmost county, is a favored location for such building.

In 2020, a data center project in Reykjavik, Iceland, will run entirely on renewable geo thermal and hydroelectric energy.

Recycling is also a huge concern, since life cycle engineering is just now starting to address the challenges of producing environmentally friendly computers.

Toxic electronic trash is difficult to dispose of in the United States, thus a considerable portion of all e-waste is sent to Asia and Africa.

Every year, some 50 million tons of e-waste are produced throughout the globe (United Nations 2019).

Jack Ma of the international e-commerce company Alibaba claimed at the World Economic Forum annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland, that artificial intelligence and big data were making the world unstable and endangering human life.

Artificial intelligence research's carbon impact is just now being quantified with any accuracy.

While Microsoft and Pricewaterhouse Coopers reported that artificial intelligence could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2.4 gigatonnes by 2030 (the combined emissions of Japan, Canada, and Australia), researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst discovered that training a model for natural language processing can emit the equivalent of 626,000 pounds of greenhouse gases.

This is over five times the carbon emissions produced by a typical automobile throughout the course of its lifespan, including original production.

Artificial intelligence has a massive influence on energy usage and carbon emissions right now, especially when models are tweaked via a technique called neural architecture search (Strubell et al. 2019).

It's unclear if next-generation technologies like quantum artificial intelligence, chipset designs, and unique machine intelligence processors (such as neuromorphic circuits) would lessen AI's environmental effect.

Artificial intelligence is also being utilized to extract additional oil and gas from beneath, but more effectively.

Oilfield services are becoming more automated, and businesses like Google and Microsoft are opening offices and divisions to cater to them.

Since the 1990s, Total S.A., a French multinational oil firm, has used artificial intelligence to enhance production and understand subsurface data.

Total partnered up with Google Cloud Advanced Solutions Lab professionals in 2018 to use modern machine learning techniques to technical data analysis difficulties in the exploration and production of fossil fuels.

Every geoscience engineer at the oil company will have access to an AI intelligent assistant, according to Google.

With artificial intelligence, Google is also assisting Anadarko Petroleum (bought by Occidental Petroleum in 2019) in analyzing seismic data to discover oil deposits, enhance production, and improve efficiency.

Working in the emerging subject of evolutionary robotics, computer scientists Joel Lehman and Risto Miikkulainen claim that in the case of a future extinction catastrophe, superintelligent robots and artificial life may swiftly breed and push out humans.

In other words, robots may enter the continuing war between plants and animals.

To investigate evolvability in artificial and biological populations, Lehman and Miikkulainen created computer models to replicate extinction events.

The study is mostly theoretical, but it may assist engineers comprehend how extinction events could impact their work; how the rules of variation apply to evolutionary algorithms, artificial neural networks, and virtual organisms; and how coevolution and evolvability function in ecosystems.

As a result of such conjecture, Emerj Artificial Intelligence Research's Daniel Faggella notably questioned if the "environment matter[s] after the Singularity" (Faggella 2019).

Ian McDonald's River of Gods (2004) is a notable science fiction novel about climate change and artificial intelligence.

The book's events take place in 2047 in the Indian subcontinent.

A.I.Artificial Intelligence (2001) by Steven Spielberg is set in a twenty-second-century planet plagued by global warming and rising sea levels.

Humanoid robots are seen as important to the economy since they do not deplete limited resources.

Transcendence, a 2014 science fiction film starring Johnny Depp as an artificial intelligence researcher, portrays the cataclysmic danger of sentient computers as well as its unclear environmental effects.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: 

Chatbots and Loebner Prize; Gender and AI; Mobile Recommendation Assistants; Natural Language Processing and Speech Understanding.

Further Reading

Bort, Julie. 2017. “The 43 Most Powerful Female Engineers of 2017.” Business Insider.

Chan, Sharon Pian. 2011. “Tech-Savvy Dreamer Runs Microsoft’s Social-Media Lab.” Seattle Times.

Cheng, Lili. 2018. “Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Artificial Intelligence.” Time.

Cheng, Lili, Shelly Farnham, and Linda Stone. 2002. “Lessons Learned: Building and Deploying Shared Virtual Environments.” In The Social Life of Avatars: Com￾puter Supported Cooperative Work, edited by Ralph Schroeder, 90–111. London: Springer.

Davis, Jeffrey. 2018. “In Chatbots She Trusts: An Interview with Microsoft AI Leader Lili Cheng.” Workflow.

What Is Artificial General Intelligence?

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is defined as the software representation of generalized human cognitive capacities that enables the ...