A team of engineers have invented a breakthrough device that will make more accurate weather forecasts and give more advanced projections of climate change.
The high performance electronic device, known as a dual-polarized Frequency Selective Surface filter, can detect thermal emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere in ways never done before.
The device is so promising that it will be installed in instruments for all meteorological satellites to be launched between 2018 and 2020 by the European Space Agency. It will allow complicated sets of data from temperature, humidity profiles, and gas composition measurements “to provide a much more comprehensive analysis of conditions in the Earth’s atmosphere than has been possible previously,” according to lead engineer Raymond Dickie.
“Up to now, spaceborne remote sensing instruments have only been capable of separating either the vertically or horizontally polarized components of naturally occurring thermal emissions from gases in the Earth’s atmosphere – but not both together at the same time. The invention of the new filter resolves this problem and will enable complex imaging of clouds to be undertaken for the first time at very short wavelengths.”
In short, that means scientists will now have access to a whole range of information never seen before, and it will allow for more advanced modeling of everything from ozone depletion and climate change to the size of water particles in cirrus clouds.
Weathermen are notorious for their inaccurate predictions, and climate models have likewise been criticized because of the immensely complicated nature of climate science. Though as technology improves, predicting the weather is becoming increasingly more accurate and climate change models have become increasingly more frightening. Thanks to devices like this, there’s less room for apathy and skepticism regarding global warming.
Image Credit: muha… on Flickr under a CC License
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