Climate monitoring: Belgium is banking on it


More than ever, science and industry are joining forces to study climate disruptions. Belgium now has a brand new "climate centre" with multiple objectives. Also, the most complex, innovative and life-saving Geostationary Meteorological Satellite (GMS) system will soon be launched.

From now on, climate research will be integrated into a single centre that can provide the federal government with all the scientific advice it needs to make its policy decisions. The centre will further develop structural and interdisciplinary cooperation, including at international level, between universities, scientific institutions and climate research organisations. Finally, it will provide climate services to the government and private sector.

By the end of 2022, the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellite system, consisting of three satellites, will be placed in orbit at 36,000 km. The first two will enable the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) to take images of the European continent and the Earth twice as often. The latter will monitor electrical activity, wind, humidity and the different cloud layers. Eventually, it will even be possible to follow the complete life cycle of a storm, from its initial instability to its lightning strikes. A first, which will greatly improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and warnings.

This new data should help save property and infrastructure and, more importantly, lives.