CNESMAG 81 - WIND AND WAVES: AN ENIGMATIC DUO

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The 81st edition of CNESMAG is dedicated to the constant interaction between atmosphere and ocean.

Editorial of Jean Yves Le Gall, President of CNES :

Wind and waves—an enigmatic duo that immediately conjures up days spent at the beach. Yet behind the holiday images hide the keys to our planet’s climate. Because it is the constant interaction between atmosphere and ocean that dictates our weather. Its understanding is vital to meteorology, and its evolution tells us about climate change and its impact on the environment. Contributors to this issue of CNESMAG have focused on such phenomena, emphasising the vital role that satellites play in their observation. That’s because only satellites can provide global data on land masses and oceans over very long periods of time. The Earth today is being constantly monitored, so that we can take its pulse and predict its evolution. Thanks to our satellites, we are leading the way in this field. With the US, TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason have revealed that ocean levels are rising by an average of 3.4 millimeters every year. With India, SARAL-AltiKa is providing outstanding refined altimetry data. With China, CFOSat is the first satellite to observe winds and waves simultaneously. While with Europe, the Copernicus program’s Sentinel satellites are measuring certain ocean parameters for the very first time. All of which allows us to gain an ever better understanding of wind and wave changes and of their impact on our planet’s climate.

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