A number of UK businesses will work with climate change experts to monitor satellite data and reduce the risk of climate change impacts.

The Government has announced £5 million backing for a new £5 million satellite data centre that will predict climate change trends in towns and cities that will help reduce the risk of flooding and pollution.

The Centre for Satellite Data in Environmental Science (SENSE), is a virtual academic collaboration between the Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds and the UK Space Agency (UKSA).

Announcing the project, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “This new satellite data centre will give us instant images showing us the true impact of climate change and in doing so, help us develop innovative new ways of tackling it.”

The new data centre will analyse measurements from satellites on rising sea levels, greenhouse gases, shrinking glaciers and deforestation, to predict climate change impacts and track weather trends. Government and industry policy makers can then use this data and knowledge to target actions that will help reduce climate risks that have continued to cause significant damage to UK businesses and local communities.

The programme involves working with 18 businesses and partners, including Airbus and Unilever, who will co-fund, and co-design many of the research projects. Commenting on the scheme, Beth Greenaway, Head of Earth Observation and Climate at the UK Space Agency, said:

“We are at the forefront of innovative new technology for measuring our planet from space… and we have a commercial sector able to build the space missions and create services for the public and private sector. The rapid growth of the Earth Observation sector means we need to attract thousands of people with the right skills over the next 10 years.”

The new centre will be funded by £2.3 million funding over 3 years from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) core grant, with money from UK Space Agency for specific academic activity support, with a further £3.4 million additional funding from business/industry as well as the universities’ own funds.

Last reviewed 10 January 2020