Ice-monitoring Satellites, like the one being prepared for launch by the ESA today, can measure more accurately than current satellites how thick the ice is in polar oceans, Greenland and Antarctica. No other satellite has been able to accurately measure ice thickness at the edges of a piece of ice, but this one can. Over time, this data will help draw conclusions about how weather and climate is affecting the ice. Changes in ice thickness in any one place can be caused by different wind and sun conditions, but from space we can measure the thickness of all the ice in a large area at once, getting a more accurate reading.
Since current theories about global warming suggest that the poles and their ice will be the most significantly affected, this satellite can show us whether are predictions are accurate or need reviewing. We can also know to what extent these changes are already taking place, as the satellite gathers data over the next three years.
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