From The Daily Galaxy*:
A torpedo-shaped satellite - known as the gravity field and steady-state ocean circulation explorer, will help predict how the world is going to change." Scientists are preparing to launch a new satellite to make more precise measurements of the Earth's gravitational field and so help improve predictions about global warming with a more precise picture of the ocean currents....*Their tagline "News from Planet Earth and Beyond" somehow seems modest compared to the footer on NOAA press releases:
...GOCE is equipped with a triple-accelerometer gradiometer, accurate to within one part in one hundred trillion of standard Earth gravity. Don't pretend you understand that - a one hundred trillionth is beyond the human minds ability to usefully picture. For reference, it's the size of a virus compared to a sixteen wheeler truck.
The GOCE is the first in a series of Earth Exploring satellites - it's companions will be CRYOSAT, SMOS, AEOLUS and the excellently-named SWARM. Five satellites in orbit with names like that - the ESA have not confirmed that the quintuplet will merge to form a giant alien-battling robot in times of distress, but only because it's so obvious it doesn't need to be said....MORE
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.