February 16, 2017
Earth Science on the Space Station Continues to GrowThe number of instruments on the International Space Station dedicated to observing Earth to increase our understanding of our home planet continues to grow.
December 15, 2016
3-D Animation: See How CO2 Moves in Earth's AtmosphereUsing data from a NASA satellite perched 436 miles above Earth's surface, scientists developed a 3-D model of carbon dioxide in the…
November 1, 2016
New, Space-Based View of Human-Made Carbon DioxideScientists have produced the first global maps of human emissions of carbon dioxide ever made solely from satellite observations of the greenhouse gas.
October 25, 2016
Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Record High, Ushering in a 'New Era of Climate RealityThe 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).
August 8, 2016
As Peat Bogs Burn, a Climate Threat RisesKristyn 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.
July 6, 2016
NASA Flights to Track Greenhouse Gases Across Eastern USThis 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.
June 13, 2016
Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestoneAtmospheric 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.
April 25, 2016
United States absorbed carbon dioxide despite a droughtThe 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.
March 16, 2016
Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than ExpectedThe 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.
February 26, 2016
Consumers care about carbon footprintHow 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?
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.