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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

NASA to launch new mission to study polar regions’ heat emissions

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Los Angeles: NASA plans to launch a new mission this month to study the heat loss from Earth’s polar regions and provide information on changing climate, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said on Wednesday.

The mission, named the Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment (PREFIRE), will study two of the most remote regions on Earth: the Arctic and Antarctic.

A pair of shoebox-size climate satellites will be launched to measure the amount of heat the planet emits into space from these polar regions. Each of PREFIRE’s cube satellites, or CubeSats, will use a thermal infrared spectrometer to measure the heat, in the form of far-infrared energy, radiated into space by Earth’s surface and atmosphere.

The data from the mission will help improve our understanding of the greenhouse effect at the poles — specifically, the capacity of water vapor, clouds, and other elements of Earth’s atmosphere to trap heat and keep it from radiating into space, according to the JPL.

Researchers will use this information to update climate and ice models, which will lead to better predictions of how sea level, weather, and snow and ice cover are likely to change in a warming world.

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