It was launched at 3.22 a.m. from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert, Xinhua news agency reported.
The 620-kg satellite TanSat was sent into a sun synchronous orbit about 700 km above the earth and will monitor the concentration, distribution and flow of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, said Yin Zengshan, chief designer of TanSat at the Chinese Academy of Sciences micro-satellite research institute.
The satellite will help understanding of climate change and provide independent data.
During its three-year mission, TanSat will thoroughly examine global carbon dioxide levels every 16 days, accurate to at least 4 ppm (parts per million).
China is the third country after Japan and the US to monitor greenhouse gases through its own satellite.