A lush landscape dominated by boreal forests is pictured in this satellite image over the Plesetsky District of northeast Russia’s Archangel Oblast.
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Forests play a crucial role in Earth’s carbon cycle by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in biomass. Boreal forests – including forest soil – store a third more carbon stocks per hectare as tropical forests, making them one of the most significant carbon sinks in the world.
A satellite dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere is poised on top of a Rockot on the launch pad at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, visible in the upper right. The Copernicus satellite, Sentinel-5P, is set for liftoff at 09:27 GMT (11:27 CEST).
Sentinel-5P carries the state-of-the-art Tropomi instrument to map a multitude of trace gases such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and aerosols – all of which affect the air we breathe and therefore our health, and our climate.
This image was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2B satellite on 5 September 2017.