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OCO-2 News Articles

  • 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 human activities.Amazon Absorbs Less Carbon Dioxide as Trees Die Off, Study Says
  • 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 from the International Energy Agency.Emissions by Makers of Energy Level Off
  • 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.Hidden greenhouse emissions revealed in new report
  • 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.February carbon dioxide levels average 400ppm for first time
  • Scientists witness carbon dioxide trapping heat in air February 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.Scientists witness carbon dioxide trapping heat in air
  • Study: Melting glaciers have big carbon impact January 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.Study: Melting glaciers have big carbon impact
  • NASA Mountaintop Sensor Finds High Methane over LA January 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.NASA Mountaintop Sensor Finds High Methane over LA
  • 2015 Begins With CO2 Above 400 PPM Mark January 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.2015 Begins With CO2 Above 400 PPM Mark
  • NASA Finds Good News on Forests and Carbon Dioxide December 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.NASA Finds Good News on Forests and Carbon Dioxide
  • NASA's Spaceborne Carbon Counter Maps New Details December 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 burning.NASA's Spaceborne Carbon Counter Maps New Details

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.