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ESCAP and Japan Launch Satellite to Monitor Global GHG

Satellite to Monitor Global Greenhouse Gases Launched Successfully

23 January 2009: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have launched a satellite to monitor greenhouse gases (GHG) from space. The GHG Observing Satellite “IBUKI” (or “GOSAT” in its English-language acronym) is the first satellite to observe GHG and monitor changes in the effects they cause.

Using a high precision sensor, “IBUKI” can measure from outer space the concentration of GHG throughout almost the entire surface of the Earth, including large regions where data have not been previously collected. The data will be used to determine the emission, transportation and absorption of gases. Covering every region in the world, the satellite will play a role in monitoring an increase or decrease of GHG. The data will be obtained every three days from the observation points and distributed to scientists free of charge.

JAXA and ESCAP signed a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2008 to collaborate on various emerging issues and challenges in the region, such as disaster risk reduction and the environment. [UN Press Release]