Some changes will undergo soon in the space. There will two new satellites launched by NASA on Tuesday, named GRACE. They will retire the two satellite that has been in orbit since last 16 years.
The complete meaning of GRACE is Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. The satellite with exquisite sensitivity will measure the changes in the gravitational field. It is one of the most vital equipment to understand the impact of changes in climate. Additionally, they may assist in predicting earthquakes.
The Earth’s gravitational field is the lifeline of these satellites as they rely heavily on them. This gravitation becomes tougher over locations with heavy mass, such as water, ice, mountains. It also becomes weaker when there isn’t enough mass.
We can’t notice the difference, but the GRACE can. These satellites will fly in tandem, but they will pull apart by the variations in the gravity field & become together if it is less than a human hair width. GRACE will create a gravity due to this.
The lumpiness varied from one place to another & from one month to another. All the details regarding it will show on the map. According to Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s geophysicist Felix Landerer, there are lots of variation that go deep in the water. He further explained that soil becomes dry when snow gathered in the mountains & melts in the summer. It means there is an imprint on the gravity field leave by this shift of water. That’s why we are detecting it.
Why do the scientists chase water?
A warm climate moves water. For instance, you should look at the Greenland ice sheet that becomes up to 3.2 km thick. However, a great amount of ice has melted due to changes in the climate. It was observed by the old GRACE satellites earlier.
Landerer further explained that the changes in the gravity field come in the form of water due to shift in the mass. The old satellites have witness melting of 4,000 gigatons Greenland ice in the period of last 15 years.
He further stated that that ice is still in the sea, but it not located near Greenland. You can witness the level of sea going down going down if you are standing on the Greenland Coastline & the ice melts, further explained by Landerer.