Greenhouse Gas Measurements from Space – Difficult Challenges, Emerging Success, and Plans for the Future

Thursday 4 October 2018, 08:30 – 09:30

Location: Bremen Conference Center – DLR Hall


Atmospheric carbon is steadily increasing. The Keeling Curve, depicting the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere over Hawaii, started in 1958 and initially measured 315 ppm. In April 2014, the concentration topped 401 ppm. Contributions to this increase are coming from anthropomorphic and natural sources. As the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG) grow, Earth is warming and changing the future environment with major challenges to the life on the planet. The COP 21 Declaration is an international recognition of this increase and consequences on life across the planet. Creating a well calibrated, accurate, and globally accepted time series of GHG levels and sustaining those over decades represents a major commitment of space agencies. Leaders from involved agencies will articulate the difficult challenges of making the needed measurements, convey emerging successes from efforts already underway, and describe plans for the future of these critical observations.



Harry Cikanek

Director of the Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR),

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA),

United States



Full Bio

Harry is the Director for the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR), the unit of the NOAA Satellite and Information Service responsible for transforming raw and intermediate satellite data flows from NOAA and global observing system satellites into operational weather and environmental data and information products. These feed forecast models, and operations personnel in the National Weather Service, National Ocean Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service and partners around the world. They support research, and long term environmental information products to meet NOAA’s and its partner weather and environmental information needs to protect life, property and livelihoods. Harry began this assignment in January 2017 to ensure successful transition to operations for GOES 16 and JPSS-1 satellite data products, and chart a path to enable STAR to best harness the growing global observing system, emerging data product technologies and the advent of commercial weather data.



Josef Aschbacher

Director of Earth Observation Programmes and Head of ESRIN,

European Space Agency (ESA),




Full Bio
Josef Aschbacher is the ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes and Head of ESRIN, ESA’s centre for Earth Observation, located in Frascati (near Rome), Italy. Born in Austria, he studied at the University of Innsbruck, graduating with a Master and a Doctoral Degree in Natural Sciences. His professional career in ESA began in 1990 as a Young Graduate at ESA ESRIN. From 1991-93 he was seconded as ESA Representative to Southeast Asia to the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. From 1994 – 2001 he worked at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, where he was the Scientific Assistant to the Director of the Space Applications Institute. He returned to ESA HQ (Paris) in 2001 as Programme Coordinator where he was primarily responsible for advancing Copernicus activities within ESA. In 2006 he was nominated Head of the Copernicus Space Office, where he led all activities for Copernicus within the Agency and with external partners, in particular the European Commission. In 2014, he was promoted to Head of Programme Planning and Coordination at ESRIN, where he was responsible for planning ESA’s Earth Observation programmes and for formulating and implementing programmatic and strategic decisions across the Directorate. He took up duty as Director of Earth Observation Programmes on 1 July 2016.

Juliette Lambin

Earth Observation Program Manager,

Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES),



Full Bio

Since 2005 at CNES, Toulouse, successively as an Altimetry engineer (2005-2010), ocean program manager (2010-2014), Head of radar processing office (2014-2017) and now Earth Observation Program manager in the Directorate for Innovation, Applications and Science.

2001-2015 Research scholar at Caltech (Seismo Lab) & JPL

Graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in 1997, then PhD in Geophysics from Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in 2001.


Michael Freilich

Director Earth Science Division,

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),

United States



Full Bio

Michael Freilich has directed NASA’s Earth Science Division since November 2006. Prior to coming to NASA HQ he was Professor and Associate Dean at Oregon State University (1992-2006) and a researcher at the Jet Propulsion Lab (1983-1991). Freilich received his Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1982, studying nonlinear interactions in nearshore waves. He subsequently led the NSCAT, QuikSCAT, and SeaWinds scatterometer satellite missions for JPL and NASA. Freilich has served on the National Research Council’s Ocean Studies and Space Studies Boards, and he chaired the NRC Committee on Earth Studies (2001-2005). He is Vice-Chair of the US Global Change Research Program, was Chair of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites Strategic Implementation Team (2011-2013), and is the NASA CEOS Principal. An elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, Freilich has received the JPL Director’s Research Achievement Award (1988), the NASA Public Service Medal (1999), and the AMS Verner Suomi Award (2004). In 2008, he delivered the NRC/Smithsonian Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture.


Alain Ratier

Director General,




Full Bio
Alain Ratier is EUMETSAT’s Director-General since 1 August 2011. Between 1996 and 2004 Mr Ratier had already been EUMETSAT’s Director of Programme Development and Deputy Director-General, guiding the development of the Meteosat Second Generation and EUMETSAT Polar System satellite systems. Between 2004 and 2011, Mr Ratier was Deputy Director-General of Météo-France. From 1987 to 1996, Mr Ratier was a Programme Manager and subsequently
Associate Director for Earth Observation Programmes at the French Space Agency (CNES). Mr Ratier’s career began at Météo-France in 1983, focussing on research and development on data assimilation and modelling the upper ocean, air-sea interactions. Mr Ratier graduated from the École Polytechnique in 1981. He was awarded an engineering diploma from the French National School of Meteorology and also holds a degree in oceanography from Paris VI University. He is a member of the French Marine Academy and the Air and Space Academy, and Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Aeronautics.


Naoto Matsuura

Senior Chief Officer of Satellite Applications and Director of Earth Observation Research Center (EORC),

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA),



Full Bio

Naoto Matsuura is the Senior Chief Officer of Satellite Applications and the Director of Earth Observation Research Center (EORC) at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). He is currently responsible for promoting satellite applications in the field of Earth observation, satellite positioning and telecommunication, and analysing Earth observation satellite data. Formerly, Mr. Matsuura was Director of New Enterprise Promotion Department from 2015-2017 and, Director of Satellite Applications and Promotion Center (SAPC) from 2013-2014. In addition, in 2014 he was also assigned the position of Director of Earth Observation and Research Center (EORC). He has held various management posts in JAXA including Human Resources, Budget, and Programme Planning and Management. In 2011-2012 Mr. Matsuura was in charge of the development of satellite data market in Japan as Secretary General of the Remote Sensing Technology Center (RESTEC). Having joined JAXA (then NASDA) as an engineer in 1986, Mr. Matsuura started his career in satellite tracking and control. Since then he has worked on Earth observation satellite development, satellite applications, data policy and international coordination, and was seconded to the UN World Meteolorogical Organization (WMO) in 1995 to work on the development and coordination for the Global Climate Observing System. Mr. Matsuura studied at Keio University Graduate School of Science and Technology, where he earned his Master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1986.