Hunting Light and Shadows
07 Mar 2006
Launched aboard Envisat, the European Space Agency’s satellite, Sciamacy has been monitoring our planet’s pollution.
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‘The name Sciamacy comes from the Greek words meaning hunting shadows, and that’s just what we’re doing, hunting light and shadows,’ says John Burrows, the inventor. ‘I think that until the industrial revolution, mankind was like a stowaway on the planet. Since then, man has crept out on the surface producing pollution on such a huge scale, that we are now changing the behaviour of the atmosphere in a significant way.‘
The Sciamacy team of investigators are monitoring the kind of gases which contribute to the greenhouse effect’. For example, methane stemming from biological activity ñ marshlands and certain agricultural crops ñ is one of the principal factors responsible for global warming, together with carbon dioxide produced by industrial other activities, forest fires and volcanoes.
Sciamacy, together with other Envisat instruments, is helping us to understand our changing planet and is proving to be a valuable tool for our future.
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