Stratospheric ozone has decreased 3% globally between 1980 and 2000 and thins by 50% over Antarctica in winter and spring. Depletion of the ozone layer allows more ultraviolet radiation to reach the surface. Increases in UV radiation are known to have harmful effects on living things. The Montreal Protocol and its amendments have banned the use of ozone destroying chemicals and the rate of ozone depletion seems to have slowed. Climate change will have an impact on how quickly ozone recovers.
The Earth's Air Quality Is Fundamental To Public Health And Ecosystems
The atmosphere has no political boundries; air pollution moves great distances across oceans and continents. The quality of air has degrated over certain parts of the world and has become a health issue. Severe pollution episodes increase mortality.
The Earth's Climate Is Affected By Changes In Atmospheric Composition
It is undeniable that human activity is beginning to alter the climate. The global rise in surface temperatures since the 1950's is correlated with the increase in greenhouse gases. Changes in carbon dioxiode, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, cloud cover, water vapor and aerosols all contribute to climate change.
Aura Is Designed To Answer Questions About Changes In Our Life-Sustaining Atmosphere
Aura's four instruments study the atmosphere's chemistry and dynamics. Aura's measurements will enable us to investigate questions about ozone trends, air quality changes and their linkage to climate change.
Aura's measurements will provide accurate data for predictive models and provide useful information for local and national agency decision support systems.
Aura flies in formation about 15 minutes behind Aqua in the "A-Train" satellite constellation which consists of several satellites flying in close proximity. Each individual mission has its own science objectives; all will improve our understanding of aspects of the Earth's climate. The synergism that is expected to be gained by flying in close proximity to each other should enable the overall science results of the Afternoon Constellation to be greater than the sum of the science of each individual mission.
Video : “The A-Train”
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