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OCO-2 News Articles

  • Watch Carbon Pollution Spread Across the Planet November 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.Watch Carbon Pollution Spread Across the Planet
  • NASA: Alaska Shows No Signs of Rising Arctic Methane November 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 suggested.NASA: Alaska Shows No Signs of Rising Arctic Methane
  • NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Instrument Completes Checkout - 09.30.2014 October 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. The instrument is making high-precision measurements, and data processing is proceeding on schedule.NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Instrument Completes Checkout - 09.30.2014
  • Dr. David Crisp speaks to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation September 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.Dr. David Crisp speaks to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Chemical & Engineering News Cover Story: Observing Earth September 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.Chemical & Engineering News Cover Story: Observing Earth
  • Greenhouse gas levels rising at fastest rate since 1984 September 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.Greenhouse gas levels rising at fastest rate since 1984
  • Crowdsourced climate-reporting project iSeeChange aims to expand with new partners August 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.Crowdsourced climate-reporting project iSeeChange aims to expand with new partners
  • We’ve Been Counting Carbon Dioxide Emissions All Wrong August 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 published today (Aug. 26) in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The study is the first to calculate this figure for the world as a whole.We’ve Been Counting Carbon Dioxide Emissions All Wrong
  • Checking the First Data from OCO-2 August 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 dioxide measurements from thousands of points all over the planet. Last week, the satellite reached its proper orbit—meaning that it is now beginning to return its first data to Earth.Checking the First Data from OCO-2
  • The view from space August 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) instrument, which was launched in July 2014.The view from space

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.