For the first time a satellite is to measure with the precision of a few centimetres the thickness, extent and changes of the polar ice caps. That the glaciers, continental and sea ice is now melting at an alarming rate is undisputed but until now no precise data has been available.
ESAs CryoSat-2 spacecraft, due to be launched from Baïkonur in a few weeks, will be providing that information, valuable to climatologists throughout the world. The mission will also be relying on the ground truth measurements obtained in the field which help to validate the data obtained by the spacecraft.
This A & B-roll explains the scientific objectives of the mission and associated campaigns on the ground. It includes interviews with CryoSat-2 project manager Richard Francis, lead scientist Duncan Wingham, Malcolm Davidson, ground campaign manager, Johnny Johannessen from the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre, Bergen, Volker Liebig, ESA Director of Earth Observation and his colleague Stephen Briggs, Head of Earth Observation Science.