Interim results taken from the first series of instruments designed specifically to measure climate change are to be unveiled at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
The Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) instruments, which have been developed by Leicester University in collaboration with overseas organisations, are expected to show a data set of the long-term changes in average global sea-surface temperatures.
According to its developers, the ATSRs are the most accurate space instruments in the world for temperature measurements. The instruments provide a consistent record of temperatures and preliminary results have shown a clear warming of the Earth’s surface from the early 1990s to today.
The instruments include a series of three radiometers that have been in space monitoring the earth’s climate since 1991. They have been constructed in the UK with help from Australia and the European Space Agency, who have been responsible for building, launching and operating the three satellites that have carried the ATSR instruments.
Principal Investigator for the ATSR probes, Prof David Llewellyn-Jones said: ‘We have managed to bring about a very challenging transition, from scientific experiment to operational monitoring instrument. The ATSR series of instruments have been a real triumph to the many people who have contributed to their development. We are delighted that the European Space Agency has taken up the responsibility of maintaining their continuity and building its own version.’