(Aka EOS AM-1) This is a NASA scientific research satellite that is in a sun-synchronous orbit around the Earth. It is a key part of NASA's Earth Observing System, because its data will enable scientists to better understand the spread of pollution around the globe.
1. Terra carries a payload of five remote sensors that have been designed to monitor the state of Earth's environment and ongoing changes in its climate system. They are:
ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer),
CERES (Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System),
MISR (Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer),
MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer), and
MOPITT (Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere)
2. The Terra satellite data was used in a very controversial skeptic paper by Spencer and Braswell. The way this paper was received strikes me as a showpiece example of how politicized climate science is.
Click here for the Guardian's summary of the controversy in which the Editor-in-Chief of the journal that published the paper resigned.
After you read that, click here for Roger Pielke SR.'s view on the controversy.
Extract: "By resigning as Editor, rather than soliciting a Comment/Reply exchange between Spencer and Braswell and the critics of their paper, he [Wolfgang Warner] has achieved the opposite of his stated goal to have “different opinions … heard and openly discussed”. Wagner also writes “three reviewers ….. probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors”. First, he fails to define what is a “climate sceptic“? If this litmus test was required of all referees (that they have to be “correct” in their views of climate science), then the review process itself has failed."