MSG-2 to advance long-term monitoring of earth’s energy balance

MSG-2 to advance long-term monitoring of earth’s energy balance

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The recent launch of MSG-2 will ensure that satellite images continue to be available to European weather forecasters well into the next decade. It also marks a new chapter in a long-term space experiment measuring the available energy that drives the weather as a whole, and helping to establish how much the Earth is heating up. The second new weather satellite in the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG), is equipped with an extremely sophisticated imaging radiometer that can separate the incoming radiation into 12 (3 with the current Meteosat) different spectral bands. Each section, four of them in the visible and eight in the thermal infrared, delivers different information. They vary from visible images of weather systems during the day to cloud temperature at night; from surface temperature and water vapour to trace gas concentrations and dust particles in the atmosphere. MSG will deliver about twenty times as much information as its predecessor Meteosat, resulting in much more accurate short and medium-range forecasts. It also carries the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) sensor, measuring the planetary energy balance.