Published on 12 November 2020
As global temperatures continue to rise, coastal areas will increasingly bear the brunt of storm surges and more frequent, intense weather events. Sea level is rising at 3.6 centimetres per decade and this trend is accelerating, compounding the threats faced by coastal communities: with every centimetre another three million people are put at risk of annual coastal flooding. Scheduled to be launched on 21 November, the Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite is set to continue the long-term record of sea-level measurements that are needed to protect our coasts.
Reliable, accurate and long-term observations of sea-level rise and its impact in the coastal zone are vital to be able to plan and better protect the 10% of the world’s population living less than 10 metres above sea level.
The Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite will take over the responsibility as the reference mission for sea-surface height measurements, a role initiated by the French-US TOPEX Poseidon satellite in 1992.