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Direct measurements of Earth’s Energy Imbalance with Geodetic Satellites - Feasibility Study


01.09.2020 - 31.08.2023


DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Kusche

M.Sc. Kristin Vielberg


Earth‘s Energy Imbalance (EEI) represents the difference between the energy absorbed and emitted by the Earth at the top of the atmosphere. In the presence of climate forcing an imbalance occurs, and in response the climate system reacts to restore the balance by changing temperature. Generally, EEI can be obtained from radiation measurements from CERES, however, due to measurement errors, the data are constrained to globally averaged ocean heat content measurements.
For climate modeling it would be thus beneficial to have independent observations of EEI. In the EEI-geodetic project, we will investigate, how geodetic satellite measurements of the satellite’s acceleration or satellite laser ranging data could be used to obtain EEI. A feasibility study will examine, how a future satellite mission equipped with satellite retro-reflectors and accelerometer could help to determine a geodetic EEI.