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OCO-2 News Articles


Read article: NASA Invested in Cracking Earth's Carbon Puzzle
May 31, 2018
NASA Invested in Cracking Earth's Carbon Puzzle
It's a scientific conundrum with huge implications for our future: How will our planet react to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? >

Read article: Cracking a climate conundrum
May 10, 2018
Cracking a climate conundrum
In 2015, we earthlings – some 7.5 billion of us – discharged 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air from many tailpipes and smokestacks. >

Read article: New Insights From OCO-2 Showcased in Science
Oct. 12, 2017
New Insights From OCO-2 Showcased in Science
High-resolution satellite data from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 are revealing the subtle ways that carbon links everything on Earth - the ocean, land, atmosphere, terrestrial ecosystems and human activities. >

Read article: NASA Pinpoints Cause of Earth's Recent Record Carbon Dioxide Spike
Oct. 12, 2017
NASA Pinpoints Cause of Earth's Recent Record Carbon Dioxide Spike
A new NASA study provides space-based evidence that Earth's tropical regions were the cause of the largest annual increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration seen in at least 2,000 years. >

Read article: NASA Announces Briefing on Carbon Mission Science Results
Oct. 10, 2017
NASA Announces Briefing on Carbon Mission Science Results
NASA will hold a media teleconference at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) Thursday, Oct. 12, to discuss new research to be published this week on changing global levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. >

Read article: Earth Science on the Space Station Continues to Grow
Feb. 16, 2017
Earth Science on the Space Station Continues to Grow
The number of instruments on the International Space Station dedicated to observing Earth to increase our understanding of our home planet continues to grow. >

Read article: 3-D Animation: See How CO2 Moves in Earth's Atmosphere
Dec. 15, 2016
3-D Animation: See How CO2 Moves in Earth's Atmosphere
Using data from a NASA satellite perched 436 miles above Earth's surface, scientists developed a 3-D model of carbon dioxide in the… >

Read article: New, Space-Based View of Human-Made Carbon Dioxide
Nov. 1, 2016
New, Space-Based View of Human-Made Carbon Dioxide
Scientists have produced the first global maps of human emissions of carbon dioxide ever made solely from satellite observations of the greenhouse gas. >

Read article: Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Record High, Ushering in a New Era of Climate Reality
Oct. 25, 2016
Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Record High, Ushering in a New Era of Climate Reality
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record-high level, ushering in a "new era of climate reality," according to the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization (WMO). >

Read article: As Peat Bogs Burn, a Climate Threat Rises
Aug. 8, 2016
As Peat Bogs Burn, a Climate Threat Rises
Kristyn Housman grabbed the end of a sampling auger, a steel tube that two colleagues had just drilled into a moss-covered hummock in a peat bog, and poked through a damp, fibrous plug of partly decomposed peat. >

Read article: NASA Flights to Track Greenhouse Gases Across Eastern US
July 6, 2016
NASA Flights to Track Greenhouse Gases Across Eastern US
This month, NASA begins an airborne experiment to improve scientists’ understanding of the sources of two powerful greenhouse gases and how they cycle into and out of the atmosphere. >

Read article: Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestone
June 13, 2016
Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestone
Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 will shatter the symbolic barrier of 400 parts per million (ppm) this year and will not fall below it our in our lifetimes, according to a new Met Office study. >

Read article: United States absorbed carbon dioxide despite a drought
April 25, 2016
United States absorbed carbon dioxide despite a drought
The warm spring of 2012 in the U.S. caused plants to absorb more carbon, thereby compensating for reductions during the subsequent summer drought, researchers have demonstrated. >

Read article: Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than Expected
March 16, 2016
Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than Expected
The bend-don’t-break adaptability of trees extends to handling climate change, according to a new study that says forests may be able to deal with hotter temperatures and contribute less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than scientists previously thought. >

Read article: Consumers care about carbon footprint
Feb. 26, 2016
Consumers care about carbon footprint
How much do consumers care about the carbon footprint of the products they buy? Would they care more if the goods were labeled with emissions data? >

Read article: How Northern European waters soak up carbon dioxide
Feb. 25, 2016
How Northern European waters soak up carbon dioxide
The seas around the UK and the rest of northern Europe take up a staggering 24 million tonnes of carbon each year. >

Read article: New climate model better predicts changes to ocean-carbon sink
Feb. 24, 2016
New climate model better predicts changes to ocean-carbon sink
Since pre-industrial times, the world's oceans have absorbed 41 percent of the carbon dioxide humans have released into the atmosphere. The remainder stays airborne, warming the planet. >

Read article: Antarctic ice sheet is more vulnerable to carbon dioxide than expected
Feb. 22, 2016
Antarctic ice sheet is more vulnerable to carbon dioxide than expected
Results from a new climate reconstruction of how Antarctica's ice sheets responded during the last period when atmospheric carbon dioxide reached levels like those expected to occur in about 30 years, plus sediment core findings reported in a companion... >

Read article: A carbon sink that can't be filled
Jan. 7, 2016
A carbon sink that can't be filled
Forests can store as much as 45 percent of the world's terrestrial carbon, making them a critical part of the process of regulating climate change. >

Read article: Melting of massive ice 'lid' resulted in huge release of carbon dioxide at the end of the ice age
Jan. 4, 2016
Melting of massive ice 'lid' resulted in huge release of carbon dioxide at the end of the ice age
A new study of how the structure of the ocean has changed since the end of the last ice age suggest that the melting of a vast 'lid' of sea ice caused the release of huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. >

Read article: Warm nights could flood the atmosphere with carbon under climate change
Dec. 7, 2015
Warm nights could flood the atmosphere with carbon under climate change
A new study suggests that hotter nights may wield more influence than previously thought over the planet's atmosphere as global temperatures rise -- and could eventually lead to more carbon flooding the atmosphere. >

Read article: As Earth Warms, NASA Targets 'Other Half' of Carbon, Climate Equation
Nov. 12, 2015
As Earth Warms, NASA Targets 'Other Half' of Carbon, Climate Equation
Carbon dioxide from wildfires and urban sources blankets the Northern Hemisphere. Credit: NASA/GSFC/GMAO >

Read article: Seven Case Studies in Carbon and Climate
Nov. 12, 2015
Seven Case Studies in Carbon and Climate
Every part of the mosaic of Earth's surface -- ocean and land, Arctic and tropics, forest and grassland -- absorbs and releases carbon in a different way. >

Read article: Excitement Grows as NASA Carbon Sleuth Begins Year Two
Oct. 29, 2015
Excitement Grows as NASA Carbon Sleuth Begins Year Two
Scientists busy poring over more than a year of data from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission are seeing patterns emerge as they seek answers to the science questions that drive the mission. >

Read article: As "good" as it gets
Sept. 15, 2015
As "good" as it gets
The common adage “good things will come to those who wait” cannot ring truer than for NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission and team members. A little more than a year after launch, the team is proud to make their first milestone in demonst >

Read article: Great plains agricultural greenhouse gas emissions could be eliminated
Aug. 7, 2015
Great plains agricultural greenhouse gas emissions could be eliminated
Researchers from the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at Colorado State University and their partners have completed a historical analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. Great Plains that demonstrates the potential to completely eliminate agricultu >

Read article: Feds: US heat-trapping carbon dioxide pollution from power plants drops to lowest since 1988
Aug. 5, 2015
Feds: US heat-trapping carbon dioxide pollution from power plants drops to lowest since 1988
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Energy Department says heat-trapping pollution from U.S. power plants hit a 27-year low in April. >

Read article: The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here
Aug. 5, 2015
The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here
The worst predicted impacts of climate change are starting to happen — and much faster than climate scientists expected >

Read article: River buries permafrost carbon at sea
Aug. 5, 2015
River buries permafrost carbon at sea
As temperatures rise, some of the organic carbon stored in Arctic permafrost meets an unexpected fate--burial at sea. >

Read article: Obama unveils rules to limit carbon dioxide emissions, curb climate change
Aug. 3, 2015
Obama unveils rules to limit carbon dioxide emissions, curb climate change
In a sweeping bid to curb heat-trapping pollution that is altering the planet's climate, President Barack Obama on Monday unveiled the first-ever limits on carbon dioxide emissions from the nation's power plants. >

Read article: Drought's lasting impact on forests
July 31, 2015
Drought's lasting impact on forests
In the virtual worlds of climate modeling, forests and other vegetation are assumed to bounce back quickly from extreme drought. >

Read article: New research will boost grasp of North American carbon cycle
July 29, 2015
New research will boost grasp of North American carbon cycle
For centuries, people have transformed and splintered landscapes and ecosystems in North America. >

Read article: Greenhouse gas emissions from African rivers
July 21, 2015
Greenhouse gas emissions from African rivers
Twelve scientists from the University of Liege, the KU Leuven and the Research Institute for Development (France), have just completed a large-scale research project conducted over a five-year period on the African continent. >

Read article: Ocean acidification may cause dramatic changes to phytoplankton
July 20, 2015
Ocean acidification may cause dramatic changes to phytoplankton
Oceans have absorbed up to 30 percent of human-made carbon dioxide around the world, storing dissolved carbon for hundreds of years. >

Read article: Tropical peatland carbon losses from oil palm plantations may be underestimated
July 9, 2015
Tropical peatland carbon losses from oil palm plantations may be underestimated
Draining tropical peatlands for oil palm plantations may result in nearly twice as much carbon loss as official estimates, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment and the Union of Concerned Sci >

Read article: 'Carbon sink' detected underneath world's deserts
July 8, 2015
'Carbon sink' detected underneath world's deserts
The world's deserts may be storing some of the climate-changing carbon dioxide emitted by human activities, a new study suggests. Massive aquifers underneath deserts could hold more carbon than all the plants on land, according to the new research. >

Read article: Carbon Dioxide Levels Topped 400 PPM Throughout Northern Hemisphere In April, WMO Says
May 26, 2015
Carbon Dioxide Levels Topped 400 PPM Throughout Northern Hemisphere In April, WMO Says
GENEVA, May 26 (Reuters) - Carbon dioxide levels throughout the northern hemisphere hit 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history in April, an ominous threshold for climate change, the World Meteorological Organization said on Monday >

Read article: Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Milestone
May 8, 2015
Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Milestone
NPR's Melissa Block speaks with Pieter Tans of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory about greenhouse gas emissions surpassing 400 parts per million. >

Read article: First time in 800,000 years: April's CO2 levels above 400 ppm
May 6, 2015
First time in 800,000 years: April's CO2 levels above 400 ppm
Less than a year after scientists first warned that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could rise above 400 parts per million and stay there, it has finally happened. >

Read article: April Becomes 1st Month With CO2 Levels Above 400 PPM
April 29, 2015
April Becomes 1st Month With CO2 Levels Above 400 PPM
The end of April has arrived, and with it, the record for the first month in human history with an average carbon dioxide level in Earth’s atmosphere above 400 parts per million has been set. >

Read article: Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide limits soil storage
April 15, 2015
Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide limits soil storage
Soil carbon may not be as stable as previously thought, scientists report, adding that soil microbes exert more direct control on carbon buildup than global climate models represent. >

Read article: The Not So Brief History of Climate Change Science
March 23, 2015
The Not So Brief History of Climate Change Science
It’s 2015, and climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time. But while it may seem like all of this fuss over global warming is a recent phenomenon, concern over the role of atmospheric carbon dioxide in our planet’s climate has a long hist >

Read article: Amazon Absorbs Less Carbon Dioxide as Trees Die Off, Study Says
March 18, 2015
Amazon Absorbs Less Carbon Dioxide as Trees Die Off, Study Says
The Amazon rain forest has long absorbed more carbon than it releases and acted as a vital brake on climate change. An extensive study now suggests that it is losing its ability to suck up the excess carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere by hum >

Read article: Emissions by Makers of Energy Level Off
March 15, 2015
Emissions by Makers of Energy Level Off
Somebody tapped the brakes. Carbon dioxide emissions from the world’s energy producers stalled in 2014, the first time in 40 years of measurement that the level did not increase during a period of economic expansion, according to preliminary estimates... >

Read article: Hidden greenhouse emissions revealed in new report
March 10, 2015
Hidden greenhouse emissions revealed in new report
Restoration of wetlands can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is shown in a report that has been written in part by researchers from the University of Gothenburg. >

Read article: February carbon dioxide levels average 400ppm for first time
March 8, 2015
February carbon dioxide levels average 400ppm for first time
The US government’s greenhouse gas monitoring site at Mauna Loa in Hawaii has confirmed that its average recorded carbon dioxide levels for February topped 400 parts per million (ppm) - the first time that this has been seen in a northern winter month. >

Read article: Scientists witness carbon dioxide trapping heat in air
Feb. 25, 2015
Scientists witness carbon dioxide trapping heat in air
WASHINGTON (AP) - Scientists have witnessed carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere above the United States, chronicling human-made climate change in action, live in the wild. >

Read article: Study: Melting glaciers have big carbon impact
Jan. 19, 2015
Study: Melting glaciers have big carbon impact
As the Earth warms and glaciers all over the world begin to melt, researchers and public policy experts have focused largely on how all of that extra water will contribute to sea level rise. >

Read article: NASA Mountaintop Sensor Finds High Methane over LA
Jan. 13, 2015
NASA Mountaintop Sensor Finds High Methane over LA
A NASA study using two years of observations from a novel mountaintop instrument finds that Los Angeles' annual emissions of methane, an important greenhouse gas, are 18 to 61 percent higher than widely used estimates. >

Read article: 2015 Begins With CO2 Above 400 PPM Mark
Jan. 12, 2015
2015 Begins With CO2 Above 400 PPM Mark
The new year has only just begun, but we’ve already recorded our first days with average carbon dioxide levels above 400 parts per million, potentially leading to many months in a row above this threshold, experts say. >

Read article: NASA Finds Good News on Forests and Carbon Dioxide
Dec. 29, 2014
NASA Finds Good News on Forests and Carbon Dioxide
A new NASA-led study shows that tropical forests may be absorbing far more carbon dioxide than many scientists thought, in response to rising atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas. >

Read article: NASA's Spaceborne Carbon Counter Maps New Details
Dec. 18, 2014
NASA's Spaceborne Carbon Counter Maps New Details
The first global maps of atmospheric carbon dioxide from NASA's new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission demonstrate its performance and promise, showing elevated carbon dioxide concentrations across the Southern Hemisphere from springtime biomass burnin >

Read article: Watch Carbon Pollution Spread Across the Planet
Nov. 18, 2014
Watch Carbon Pollution Spread Across the Planet
A striking new video from NASA reveals how the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide spreads across Earth in a single year. >

Read article: NASA: Alaska Shows No Signs of Rising Arctic Methane
Nov. 12, 2014
NASA: Alaska Shows No Signs of Rising Arctic Methane
Despite large temperature increases in Alaska in recent decades, a new analysis of NASA airborne data finds that methane is not being released from Alaskan soils into the atmosphere at unusually high rates, as recent modeling and experimental studies have >

Read article: NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Instrument Completes Checkout - 09.30.2014
Oct. 2, 2014
NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Instrument Completes Checkout - 09.30.2014
NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) will soon complete its first 90 days of operations in space. The spacecraft meets or exceeds all functional and performance specifications, and all planned instrument checkout activities have been completed. Th >

Read article: Dr. David Crisp speaks to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Sept. 27, 2014
Dr. David Crisp speaks to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Hear the Radio Interview with Dr. David Crips! A new NASA satellite will monitor regional carbon dioxide sources and sinks. >

Read article: Chemical & Engineering News Cover Story: Observing Earth
Sept. 24, 2014
Chemical & Engineering News Cover Story: Observing Earth
Even as new satellites launch to observe air chemistry and climate, scientists worry about measurement longevity. >

Read article: Greenhouse gas levels rising at fastest rate since 1984
Sept. 8, 2014
Greenhouse gas levels rising at fastest rate since 1984
Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere between 2012 and 2013 grew at their fastest rate since 1984. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says that it highlights the need for a global climate treaty. >

Read article: Crowdsourced climate-reporting project iSeeChange aims to expand with new partners
Aug. 28, 2014
Crowdsourced climate-reporting project iSeeChange aims to expand with new partners
A project to crowdsource data on climate change is building on its roots in public radio’s Localore initiative, with two partnerships in the works to involve citizen scientists on a national scale. >

Read article: We’ve Been Counting Carbon Dioxide Emissions All Wrong
Aug. 27, 2014
We’ve Been Counting Carbon Dioxide Emissions All Wrong
All the world’s power plants will put out 300 billion additional tons of carbon dioxide during their lifetimes - a massive amount of carbon dioxide that isn’t taken into account by current schemes to regulate these emissions, according to a study... >

Read article: Checking the First Data from OCO-2
Aug. 21, 2014
Checking the First Data from OCO-2
On July 2, NASA successfully launched its first satellite dedicated to measuring carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission—operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory—will soon provide atmospheric carbon... >

Read article: The view from space
Aug. 11, 2014
The view from space
Dr. Christian Frankenberg has been a Research Scientist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 2010. He develops software algorithms to retrieve information about carbon dioxide in our atmosphere from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)... >

Read article: NASA Carbon Counter Reaches Final Orbit, Returns Data
Aug. 11, 2014
NASA Carbon Counter Reaches Final Orbit, Returns Data
Just over a month after launch, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide -- has maneuvered into its final operating orbit and produced its first science data, confirming the... >

Read article: Straggler to the A-Train
July 30, 2014
Straggler to the A-Train
Carbon dioxide sources and sinks can now be measured from space at high resolution since the Orbital Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) successfully joined a constellation of six Earth-observing satellites, on 2 July. >

Read article: Making Science Useful
July 24, 2014
Making Science Useful
Karen Yuen is the Science Data Applications Lead for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission and has been with NASA for over 12 years. Working closely with the science team, she helps devise ways in which the mission’s scientific data can be... >

Read article: The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 – Opportunities for Deep Carbon Research
July 23, 2014
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 – Opportunities for Deep Carbon Research
NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) was finally successfully launched on 2 July 2014 from Vandenberg Air Force base in California. This event marks not only the successful completion of unfinished business after the tragic January 2009 loss of... >

Read article: Earth Right Now Shareables on Flickr
July 11, 2014
Earth Right Now Shareables on Flickr
Love your Earth Right Now (ERN) Shareables? You can now find them all in one place! The ERN Team has consolidated all the Shareables from the beginning of the campaign to present on the Earth Vital Signs Flickr Page. New ones will be added as they come... >

Read article: Gaia’s breath
July 5, 2014
Gaia’s breath
A newly launched satellite will reveal even more about the planet’s workings than originally planned. >

Read article: OCO-2 joins the A-Train to study Earth’s atmosphere
July 3, 2014
OCO-2 joins the A-Train to study Earth’s atmosphere
Every day, above our planet, five Earth-observing satellites rush along like trains on the same “track,” flying minutes, and sometimes seconds, behind one another. >

Read article: NASA Launches Carbon Mission to Watch Earth Breathe
July 2, 2014
NASA Launches Carbon Mission to Watch Earth Breathe
NASA successfully launched its first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide at 2:56 a.m. PDT (5:56 a.m. PDT) Wednesday. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) raced skyward from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on a United... >

Read article: Graphic: Measuring carbon dioxide from space
June 30, 2014
Graphic: Measuring carbon dioxide from space
As part of the Earth Right Now campaign, a Carbon infographic was produced to highlight why we study carbon dioxide from Space. >

Read article: The Carbon Quiz
June 30, 2014
The Carbon Quiz
How much do you know about carbon? Test your knowledge. Earth has many processes that regulate carbon, atmospheric carbon dioxide and its role in the carbon cycle and climate. How much do you know? >

Read article: NASA's OCO-2 will track our impact on airborne carbon
June 26, 2014
NASA's OCO-2 will track our impact on airborne carbon
Every time we get in a car and drive, we burn gasoline, releasing carbon dioxide and other compounds into the air and disturbing Earth's climate. Our use of fossil fuels continues to increase exponentially, with more than half of all fossil fuels ever use >

Read article: NASA's OCO-2 Observatory Ready for Launch
June 25, 2014
NASA's OCO-2 Observatory Ready for Launch
The launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission (OCO-2) at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 1. >

Read article: Mike Gunson: Data, data, data
June 24, 2014
Mike Gunson: Data, data, data
Dr. Mike Gunson has worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1987. He started out working on the Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy Experiment (ATMOS), which was designed to study the composition of the atmosphere in detail. >

Read article: Dave Crisp: Man on a mission
June 13, 2014
Dave Crisp: Man on a mission
As leader of the mission’s Science Team, Dr. Dave Crisp lives, breathes and eats OCO-2. He helped put together the original idea for the OCO mission and has been working tirelessly since 2000 on the project. Crisp led the team that designed, developed... >

Read article: “Carbon Copy” Spacecraft Ready to Track Global Carbon Dioxide
June 12, 2014
“Carbon Copy” Spacecraft Ready to Track Global Carbon Dioxide
On February 24, 2009, the launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) mission - designed to study the global fate of carbon dioxide - resulted in failure. Shortly after launch, the rocket nose didn’t separate as expected, and the satellite could... >

Read article: New NASA space observatory to study carbon conundrums
June 12, 2014
New NASA space observatory to study carbon conundrums
NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to measuring carbon dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere is in final preparations for a July 1 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. >

Read article: Annmarie Eldering: Making good science happen
May 30, 2014
Annmarie Eldering: Making good science happen
Dr. Annmarie Eldering has been with the OCO-2 mission since 2010, and has been collaborating with NASA Jet Propulsion Lab since she was a gradate student at neighboring Caltech in 1990. >

Read article: Obama to target power plants' carbon dioxide emissions
May 30, 2014
Obama to target power plants' carbon dioxide emissions
Chicago - On Monday, President Obama plans to unveil what is likely to be the most significant initiative of his presidency to combat climate change: a new rule to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, the country's single greatest... >

Read article: Carbon Dioxide Passes Global 400 ppm Milestone
May 27, 2014
Carbon Dioxide Passes Global 400 ppm Milestone
A new carbon dioxide milestone has been reached according to the World Meteorological Agency. Average carbon dioxide measurements at all monitoring stations in the northern hemisphere were above 400 parts per million for the month of April, the first... >

Read article: Ralph Basilio: Unfinished Business
May 20, 2014
Ralph Basilio: Unfinished Business
Dr. Ralph Basilio feels the full weight of the OCO-2 project on his shoulders. As Project Manager, he has ultimate responsibility for the success of the mission. After the launch failure of the first OCO satellite, which resulted in the loss of the... >

Read article: Study: Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Threaten Human Nutrition
May 7, 2014
Study: Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Threaten Human Nutrition
Climate change is threatening human nutrition, according to experts, who say rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are robbing the global population of vital plant nutrients. That conclusion follows the release of the 2014 National Climate... >

Read article: Serendipity Leads to Nouvel Way to See Plant Health
May 5, 2014
Serendipity Leads to Nouvel Way to See Plant Health
Science is full of serendipity - moments when discoveries happen by chance or accident while researchers are looking for something else. For example, penicillin was identified when a blue-green mold grew on a Petri dish that had been left open by mistake. >

Read article: NASA Carbon-Counting Satellite Arrives at Launch Site
April 30, 2014
NASA Carbon-Counting Satellite Arrives at Launch Site
A NASA spacecraft designed to make precise measurements of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere is at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to begin final preparations for launch. >

Read article: NASA's OCO-2 Brings Sharp Focus on Global Carbon
April 17, 2014
NASA's OCO-2 Brings Sharp Focus on Global Carbon
Simply by breathing, humans have played a small part in the planet-wide balancing act called the carbon cycle throughout our existence. However, in the last few hundred years, we have taken a larger role. Our activities, such as fossil fuel burning and... >

Read article: Building Better Soybeans for a Hot, Dry, Hungry World
April 15, 2014
Building Better Soybeans for a Hot, Dry, Hungry World
A new study shows that soybean plants can be redesigned to increase crop yields while requiring less water and helping to offset greenhouse gas warming. The study is the first to demonstrate that a major food crop can be modified to meet multiple goals... >

Read article: Ocean Acidification: The Other Carbon Dioxide Problem
March 31, 2014
Ocean Acidification: The Other Carbon Dioxide Problem
Fundamental changes in seawater chemistry are occurring throughout the world's oceans. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from humankind's industrial and agricultural activities has increased the... >

Read article: Satellite Shows High Productivity from U.S. Corn Belt
March 31, 2014
Satellite Shows High Productivity from U.S. Corn Belt
Data from satellite sensors show that during the Northern Hemisphere's growing season, the Midwest region of the United States boasts more photosynthetic activity than any other spot on Earth, according to NASA and university scientists. >

Read article: CO2 on Path to Cross 400 ppm Threshold for a Month
March 18, 2014
CO2 on Path to Cross 400 ppm Threshold for a Month
Last year, atmospheric carbon dioxide briefly crossed 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. >

Read article: Target: Climate Change
Feb. 21, 2014
Target: Climate Change
Check out one of the feature stories in Aerospace America discussing OCO-2 and Jason-3! >

Read article: Upcoming 1st OCO Applications Workshop!
Feb. 20, 2014
Upcoming 1st OCO Applications Workshop!
Save the dates for April 3-4, 2014! >

Read article: OCO-2 Makes Best Science & Technology Pictures of the Week!
Jan. 31, 2014
OCO-2 Makes Best Science & Technology Pictures of the Week!
Impressive pictures featured in BBC Future. >

Read article: NASA 2014: Earth
Jan. 23, 2014
NASA 2014: Earth
In 2014, we are taking on the greatest challenge of our generation... >

Read article: NASA Set for a Big Year in Earth Science
Jan. 22, 2014
NASA Set for a Big Year in Earth Science
For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth science missions will be launched into space in the same year, opening new and improved remote eyes to monitor our changing planet. >

Read article: Microbe community changes may reduce Amazon's ability to lock up carbon dioxide
Jan. 8, 2014
Microbe community changes may reduce Amazon's ability to lock up carbon dioxide
A paper in the January issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology examines microorganism communities in the Amazon, where rainforests have been converted to pastureland >

Read article: Earth More Sensitive to Increasing Greenhouse Gas Than Thought
Jan. 2, 2014
Earth More Sensitive to Increasing Greenhouse Gas Than Thought
Earth's climate may warm considerably more than expected in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a new study of a broad range of climate models hints. >

Read article: Just 5 questions: Carbon dioxide and the OCO-2 mission
Dec. 6, 2013
Just 5 questions: Carbon dioxide and the OCO-2 mission
The buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the main greenhouse gas driving global warming and the benchmark indicator for global climate change. >

Read article: OCO-2 and the Carbon Story
Oct. 31, 2013
OCO-2 and the Carbon Story
Learn more about why we are flying OCO-2... >

Read article: EPA: Texas still No. 1 in carbon dioxide emissions
Oct. 23, 2013
EPA: Texas still No. 1 in carbon dioxide emissions
HOUSTON (AP) - Greenhouse gas pollution decreased both nationwide and in Texas last year, but the Lone Star State still leads in carbon dioxide emissions, according to a federal report released Wednesday. >

Read article: IPCC climate report: the digested read
Sept. 27, 2013
IPCC climate report: the digested read
The fifth assessment report from the IPCC looks at everything from oceans and sea ice to carbon budgets and geoengineering >

Read article: Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere pass 400 milestone, again
May 20, 2013
Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere pass 400 milestone, again
The ratio of carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million Sunday in readings taken by the two top monitors of greenhouse gases. >

Read article: OCO-2 on The Weather Channel
Nov. 29, 2012
OCO-2 on The Weather Channel
How do we follow the sources and sinks of CO2 on Earth? By having an orbiter... >

Read article: AP IMPACT: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low
Aug. 17, 2012
AP IMPACT: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low
PITTSBURGH (AP) - In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S... >

Read article: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue to Climb in 2011
Aug. 8, 2012
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue to Climb in 2011
International talks to address human-caused global warming began 20 years ago in Rio de Janeiro. >

Read article: Why Earth is still absorbing our carbon dioxide?
Aug. 8, 2012
Why Earth is still absorbing our carbon dioxide?
Our planets ocean's and plants are soaking up unexpected levels of manmade carbon dioxide, but scientists say we cannot count on nature to do so indefinitely. >

Read article: NASA Selects Launch Contractor for Three Missions
July 16, 2012
NASA Selects Launch Contractor for Three Missions
PASADENA, Calif. - NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC of Englewood, Colo., to launch the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)... >

Read article: Global carbon emissions rise is far bigger than previous estimates
June 22, 2012
Global carbon emissions rise is far bigger than previous estimates
Carbon dioxide emissions have risen by even more than previously thought, according to new data analysed by the Guardian... >

Read article: Underground carbon dioxide storage likely would cause earthquakes
June 18, 2012
Underground carbon dioxide storage likely would cause earthquakes
The notion of mitigating harmful carbon dioxide emissions by storing the gas underground is not practical... >

Read article: The 'carbon footprint' of power generation
May 18, 2012
The 'carbon footprint' of power generation
We are all aware of global warming; but fewer of us realise what exactly the notorious 'carbon footprint' implies. >

Read article: Seabed test mimics carbon dioxide release
May 15, 2012
Seabed test mimics carbon dioxide release
Scientists are beginning a month-long experiment in Scottish waters to study the impact of a possible leak from an undersea carbon dioxide storage site. >

Read article: Watching the planet breathe
Feb. 28, 2012
Watching the planet breathe
By Amber Jenkins, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory >

Read article: 8th International Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Measurements from Space (IWGGMS)
Feb. 24, 2012
8th International Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Measurements from Space (IWGGMS)
The OCO-2 team cordially invites you to the 8th International IWGGMS meeting at Caltech. >

Read article: Carbon-Sniffing Satellite Faces One-Year Delay
Feb. 10, 2012
Carbon-Sniffing Satellite Faces One-Year Delay
Space Flight Now - The launch of NASA's second Orbiting Carbon Observatory, under construction to replace a satellite lost in 2009... >

Read article: Climate Proposal Puts Practicality Ahead of Sacrifice
Jan. 16, 2012
Climate Proposal Puts Practicality Ahead of Sacrifice
New York Times - The current issue of the journal Science contains a proposal to slow global warming that is extraordinary for a couple of reasons. >

Read article: Online Map Shows Biggest Greenhouse Gas Emitters
Jan. 11, 2012
Online Map Shows Biggest Greenhouse Gas Emitters
Washington- The EPA for the first time is making available detailed information on sources of greenhouse gas emissions, >

Read article: Wetlands: Drying Intensifying Wildfires, Carbon Release Ninefold, Study Finds
Nov. 4, 2011
Wetlands: Drying Intensifying Wildfires, Carbon Release Ninefold, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (Nov. 1, 2011) - Drying of northern wetlands has led to much more severe peatland wildfires and nine times as much carbon released into the atmosphere, according to new research led by a University of Guelph professor. >

Read article: Maryland Climate Plan Passes Key Tests
Nov. 4, 2011
Maryland Climate Plan Passes Key Tests
ScienceDaily (Nov. 2, 2011) - Maryland's plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 meets a series of benchmark tests set by state lawmakers >

Read article: EPA Stalls on Carbon Dioxide Rules
Nov. 4, 2011
EPA Stalls on Carbon Dioxide Rules
C&EN - EPA has backtracked from its scheduled release of proposed rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electric utilities. Instead, EPA said in a statement it will issue the proposal "soon." >

Read article: Breeding Crops With Deeper Roots Could 'Slash CO2 Levels'
Aug. 3, 2011
Breeding Crops With Deeper Roots Could 'Slash CO2 Levels'
ScienceDaily (Aug. 3, 2011) - Breeding crops with roots a metre deeper in the ground could lower atmospheric CO2 levels >

Read article: NASA moves to add Delta 2 Rocket back to list of available launchers
May 16, 2011
NASA moves to add Delta 2 Rocket back to list of available launchers
WASHINGTON - NASA and Denver-based United Launch Alliance (ULA) are negotiating to add the Delta 2... >

Read article: California Law to Curb Greenhouse Gases Faces a Legal Hurdle
Feb. 4, 2011
California Law to Curb Greenhouse Gases Faces a Legal Hurdle
SAN FRANCISCO - California's landmark law on curbing greenhouse gases, which is well on its way to taking effect... >

Read article: Carbon Mapping Breakthrough
Sept. 13, 2010
Carbon Mapping Breakthrough
ScienceDaily (Sep. 12, 2010) - By integrating satellite mapping, airborne-laser technology, and ground-based plot surveys... >

Read article: New Carbon Dioxide Emissions Model
Aug. 3, 2010
New Carbon Dioxide Emissions Model
ScienceDaily (Aug. 3, 2010) - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calculated projected temperature changes >

Read article: Travelling by Car Increases Global Temperatures More Than Travelling by Plane, Only in the Long Run
Aug. 3, 2010
Travelling by Car Increases Global Temperatures More Than Travelling by Plane, Only in the Long Run
ScienceDaily (Aug. 3, 2010) - Driving alone in a car increases global temperatures in the long run >

Read article: Scrubbing CO2 from Atmosphere Could Be a Long-Term Commitment
July 2, 2010
Scrubbing CO2 from Atmosphere Could Be a Long-Term Commitment
ScienceDaily (July 2, 2010) - With carbon dioxide in the atmosphere approaching alarming levels, even halting emissions altogether may not be enough to avert catastrophic climate change. >

Read article: Global warming? 97% of experts agree
June 24, 2010
Global warming? 97% of experts agree
A new study of climate scientists' opinions shows 97 percent agree that global warming is driven mainly by human activity - emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. >

Read article: Once more into the breach for Orbital Sciences and the carbon observatory
June 24, 2010
Once more into the breach for Orbital Sciences and the carbon observatory
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory was meant to precisely measure carbon dioxide throughout Earth's atmosphere. >

Read article: New Plans Try to Revive Carbon Trading
May 24, 2010
New Plans Try to Revive Carbon Trading
BRUSSELS-Carbon trading was meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union by making polluting more expensive for heavy industries, encouraging them to invest in cleaner technology. >

Read article: NASA slated to Receive Billions to Study Earth
April 8, 2010
NASA slated to Receive Billions to Study Earth
NPR-NASA, the agency known for exploring space, will be spending a lot more time studying Earth in the next few years. >

Read article: The 'New' NASA Will Look Back at Earth
Feb. 2, 2010
The 'New' NASA Will Look Back at Earth
NASA's new proposed budget will in part shift the space agency's focus... >

Read article: Replacement satellite could play role in climate treaty
Dec. 8, 2009
Replacement satellite could play role in climate treaty
Spaceflight Now- NASA still has not received approval for a replacement... >

Read article: What lies beneath
Dec. 3, 2009
What lies beneath
The planet's ability to absorb carbon dioxide is under investigation >

Read article: Scientists to NASA: We Need A Reliable Way to Track Global Emissions
July 31, 2009
Scientists to NASA: We Need A Reliable Way to Track Global Emissions
From the WSJ (Wall Street Journal) Blogs: Environmental Capital-Daily analysis of the business of the environment by The Wall Street Journal >

Read article: NASA Releases Orbiting Carbon Observatory Accident Summary
July 17, 2009
NASA Releases Orbiting Carbon Observatory Accident Summary
PASADENA, Calif. - A NASA panel that investigated the unsuccessful Feb. 24 launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, or OCO, has completed its report. >

June 3, 2009
EARTH MONITORING: Loss of Carbon Observatory Highlights Gaps in Data
With rising temperatures altering a variety of ecological and weather systems on Earth, the current patchwork of sensors can't answer all the questions that scientists are asking. Land-based sensors have provided a conclusive picture of rising CO2 levels. >

Read article: Hearing: 4/22/2009: Monitoring, Measurement and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions II: The Rol
April 23, 2009
Hearing: 4/22/2009: Monitoring, Measurement and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions II: The Rol
Dr. Michael Freilich, Director for Earth Science Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration testified on 4/22/09 which also happened to be a agency wide celebration of Earth Day. To read his witness testimony, please follow the link to the... >

Read article: NASA ponders "carbon copy" of crashed mission
April 15, 2009
NASA ponders "carbon copy" of crashed mission
Replica spacecraft for monitoring carbon dioxide could fly in a couple of years if money can be found. >

Read article: CLIMATEWIRE: Aging climate satellites 'a real problem,' academy head tells Congress
March 4, 2009
CLIMATEWIRE: Aging climate satellites 'a real problem,' academy head tells Congress
Want to know how quickly climate change will warm the Earth or how fast sea levels will rise? Don't rely on a steady stream of data from the United States' aging stable of weather and climate satellites, the president of the National Academy.. >

Read article: NASA ANNOUNCES MISHAP BOARD MEMBERS FOR OCO INVESTIGATION
March 3, 2009
NASA ANNOUNCES MISHAP BOARD MEMBERS FOR OCO INVESTIGATION
WASHINGTON -- NASA has selected the members of the board that will investigate the unsuccessful launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, or OCO, on Feb. 24. Rick Obenschain, deputy director at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md... >

Read article: NASA NAMES CHAIRMAN FOR ORBITING CARBON OBSERVATORY INVESTIGATION
Feb. 25, 2009
NASA NAMES CHAIRMAN FOR ORBITING CARBON OBSERVATORY INVESTIGATION
WASHINGTON -- NASA's Rick Obenschain, deputy director at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will lead the investigation board for the unsuccessful launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory on Feb. 24. >

Read article: OCO's Randy Pollock Shares his Thoughts After Launch
Feb. 24, 2009
OCO's Randy Pollock Shares his Thoughts After Launch
A few hours ago I had the privilege to watch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The creativity, effort and dedication of many, many people were sitting on the launch pad. >

Read article: Five Things About the Orbiting Carbon Observatory
Feb. 20, 2009
Five Things About the Orbiting Carbon Observatory
Here are some quick facts about the Earth-orbiting satellite, scheduled to launch on Feb. 24, 2009. >

Read article: NASA Mission Meets the Carbon Dioxide Measurement Challenge
Feb. 10, 2009
NASA Mission Meets the Carbon Dioxide Measurement Challenge
The challenge: very precisely measure carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere all over the world, especially near Earth's surface. >

Read article: The Mystery of the Missing Carbon: A JPL Live Chat
Feb. 9, 2009
The Mystery of the Missing Carbon: A JPL Live Chat
NASA satellite sleuth set to launch this month will soon be hot on the trail of the elusive greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced cause of global warming. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory's mission is to find the vast warehouses of... >

Read article: First NASA CO2 Satellite Set for Launch
Feb. 9, 2009
First NASA CO2 Satellite Set for Launch
In their studies of global climate change, NASA's science teams are using Earth-observing satellites to map everything from floods and wildfires to El Ninos and phytoplankton. They track sea ice breakups and make daily scans of temperatures from the... >

Read article: NASA Carbon Mission to Improve Future Climate Change Predictions
Feb. 5, 2009
NASA Carbon Mission to Improve Future Climate Change Predictions
Recent years have seen an increase in record-setting events related to climate change. For example, 2005 was the warmest year globally in more than a century, and in 2007, Arctic sea ice retreated more than in any other time in recorded history. >

Read article: NASA Mission to Help Unravel Key Carbon, Climate Mysteries
Jan. 29, 2009
NASA Mission to Help Unravel Key Carbon, Climate Mysteries
NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide is in final preparations for a Feb. 23 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Carbon dioxide is the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's... >

Read article: The Orbiting Carbon Observatory and the Mystery of the Missing Sinks
Jan. 23, 2009
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory and the Mystery of the Missing Sinks
Picture a tree in the forest. The tree "inhales" carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, transforming that greenhouse gas into the building materials and energy it needs to grow its branches and leaves. >

Read article: The Human Factor: Understanding the Sources of Rising Carbon Dioxide
Jan. 13, 2009
The Human Factor: Understanding the Sources of Rising Carbon Dioxide
Every time we get into our car, turn the key and drive somewhere, we burn gasoline, a fossil fuel derived from crude oil. The burning of the organic materials in fossil fuels produces energy and releases carbon dioxide and other compounds into Earth's... >

Read article: NASA set to launch "CO2 Hunter"
Dec. 18, 2008
NASA set to launch "CO2 Hunter"
The US space agency is set to launch a satellite that can map in detail where carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere. >

Read article: NASA space probe to track CO2 on Earth
Dec. 5, 2008
NASA space probe to track CO2 on Earth
The occasionally acrimonious debate about the planet's climate has been missing a key component: accurate measurements of how much carbon dioxide is in the air and how it is being recycled by Earth. >

Read article: NASA's Carbon-Sniffing Satellite Sleuth Arrives at Launch Site
Nov. 12, 2008
NASA's Carbon-Sniffing Satellite Sleuth Arrives at Launch Site
NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's climate, has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to begin final launch preparations. >

Read article: A is for Earth from Economist.com
Oct. 7, 2008
A is for Earth from Economist.com
Since the start of the industrial age, the concentration of carbon dioxide in earth's atmosphere has increased by about 25%- from 280 parts per million to over 370 parts per million. As concerns over climate change increase, scientists are being asked... >

Read article: Phase 2 of Orbiting Carbon Observatory Field Campaign Begins
Oct. 2, 2008
Phase 2 of Orbiting Carbon Observatory Field Campaign Begins
After 1 year of side-by-side tests at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory with the OCO flight instrument and the FTS, installation of the FTS mobile laboratory at the SGP site began this summer. >

Read article: Best Seller for Atmospheric Research!
Sept. 2, 2008
Best Seller for Atmospheric Research!
Best seller paper "Experimental intensity and lineshape parameters of the oxygen A-band using frequency-stabilized cavity ring-down spectroscopy" is holding the top spot for most downloaded paper in the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy. >

Read article: Reef madness - LA Times Opinon section
June 1, 2008
Reef madness - LA Times Opinon section
A greenhouse gass is killing off the world's coral by turning the oceans into an acid bath. >

Read article: NASA to Launch Orbiting Carbon Observatory
Jan. 25, 2008
NASA to Launch Orbiting Carbon Observatory
Talk of the Nation, January 25, 2008 - A satellite observatory designed to map the carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere will be launched in 2009. >

Read article: The Crucial Measurement
Dec. 6, 2007
The Crucial Measurement
The "Carbon Club" began meeting on Fridays about a decade ago, setting up shop in whatever spare meeting places it could find at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Read more of the article written by Amanda Haag which appears in the... >

Read article: Rate Of CO2  Rise Accelerates
Oct. 23, 2007
Rate Of CO2 Rise Accelerates
Release of CO2 due to human activity is increasing faster than ever while "carbon sinks" - CO2 uptake by oceans and land - are weakening, according to a new report (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0702737104). >

Read article: Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) Delivery to Australia
Aug. 18, 2005
Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) Delivery to Australia
On August 18, after a 42-day journey from the California Institute of Technology campus in Pasadena, CA, USA, the first of the OCO mission's Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) mobile laboratories arrived in Darwin, Australia. >

Read article: Obituary Notice Climate Science Pioneer: Charles David Keeling
June 22, 2005
Obituary Notice Climate Science Pioneer: Charles David Keeling
Charles David Keeling, the world's leading authority on atmospheric greenhouse gas accumulation and climate science pioneer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), died Monday, June 20, 2005, while at his... >

Read article: Space measurements of carbon offer clearer view of Earth's climate future
June 10, 2005
Space measurements of carbon offer clearer view of Earth's climate future
Follow the carbon - this is the mantra of researchers seeking to understand climate change and forecast its likely extent. A workshop heard how improved detection of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from space promises to revolutionise carbon cycle... >

Read article: Carbon Dioxide Continues Its Rise
March 31, 2005
Carbon Dioxide Continues Its Rise
Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in the US, show that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere increased yet again in the last year. They are now up at 378 ppm. >

Read article: Rising Carbon Dioxide Could Make Crops Less Nutritious
March 4, 2005
Rising Carbon Dioxide Could Make Crops Less Nutritious
Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could make rice and wheat grow faster but be less nutritious, say Chinese scientists. The impact on agriculture could be profound. >

Watching the planet breathe

Watching the planet breathe

When plants photosynthesize, they use energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide from the air into sugars used to live and grow. In doing so, they give off a fluorescent light — a glow that can’t be seen with the naked eye, but that can be seen with the right instruments. More photosynthesis translates into more fluorescence, meaning that the plants are very productive in taking up carbon dioxide. The amount of carbon dioxide taken up by plants is called “gross primary productivity,” and is the largest part of the global carbon cycle.