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OCO-2 News Articles

  • 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.Drought's lasting impact on forests
  • 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.New research will boost grasp of North American carbon cycle
  • 'Carbon sink' detected underneath world's deserts July 28, 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.'Carbon sink' detected underneath world's deserts
  • 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.Greenhouse gas emissions from African rivers
  • 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.Ocean acidification may cause dramatic changes to phytoplankton
  • 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 Scientists in the journal Environmental Research Letters.Tropical peatland carbon losses from oil palm plantations may be underestimated
  • Changing climate prompts boreal forest shift June 11, 2015
    Changing climate prompts boreal forest shift
    With warming summer temperatures across Alaska, white spruce tree growth in Interior Alaska has declined to record low levels, while the same species in Western Alaska is growing better than ever measured before.Changing climate prompts boreal forest shift
  • 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.Carbon Dioxide Levels Topped 400 PPM Throughout Northern Hemisphere In April, WMO Says
  • 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.Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Milestone
  • 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.First time in 800,000 years: April's CO2 levels above 400 ppm

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.