ESA reveals more details about its FORUM mission

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The European Space Agency’s Earth Explorer FORUM mission will provide new insight into the planet’s radiation budget and how it is controlled. Earth’s surface temperature is driven by the radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere, but this balance has been disturbed by the emission of greenhouse gases that are trapping heat in the atmosphere that would otherwise escape into space. More than half of this outgoing longwave energy is in the far-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum – and this has not, so far, been measured.

Filling this gap, FORUM will measure across Earth’s entire far-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. These measurements are important because Earth’s outgoing radiation at these wavelengths is strongly affected by water vapour and ice clouds, which in turn, play a key role in regulating surface temperatures.

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Video credit: ESA/Met Office/Météo-France/geoGraphics

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for more than a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and has since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and automotive to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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