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Science minute with Dr. Sarah: 5 ways satellites can help with climate change

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Uploaded on October 9, 2020

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Science minute with Dr. Sarah: 5 ways satellites can help with climate change

2020-10-09 – Satellites play an important role in monitoring climate change and reducing its impacts. Dr. Sarah Gallagher, the CSA’s Science Advisor, explains 5 ways satellites can help with climate change.

This video was not recorded professionally. Sound and image quality is as good as possible.

(Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

Transcript

Sarah Gallagher: Hi, I’m Doctor Sarah Gallagher. Racoon in an astronaut suit? Yes! Now that we have your attention, we’re going to talk about climate change.

What do racoons have to do with climate change? Well, did you know that if the levels of carbon dioxide go to the levels they’re predicted by 2050, racoons are going to start moving further north into colder areas. And while racoons are cute, they cause a lot of damage when they move into ecosystems where they don’t belong.

So we’re going to talk about five things satellites can do to help with climate change.

Number one, it helps scientists see the big picture. In a country as large as Canada, we need satellites to keep track of the whole country. We can look at the land, the water, and the atmosphere and see how they interact and change over time, including the impacts in climate change.

Number two, satellites help scientists study clouds and their impact on climate and weather. You may not know it, but those cute fluffy clouds could actually have a bigger impact on climate change than greenhouse gases.

Number three, measure carbon monoxide concentrations. Satellites help us measure the amount of carbon monoxide so that we can check if those antipollution measures are really working.

Number four, monitor signs of coastal erosion. Canada has the longest coastline in the world. Coastal erosion puts roads, the homes of people who live nearby, and marine ecosystems at risk.

Number five, monitoring the ozone layer and the substances that can damage it. A thinning ozone layer leads to increased UV radiation, which increases our risk of sunburns and skin cancer.

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