Carbon Dioxide SatelliteNASA to launch first satellite to chart levels of carbon dioxide in atmosphere. In July, NASA plans to launch the first-of-its-kind satellite designed to remotely measure carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere. CO2 is a known greenhouse gas and has been increasing steadily based on earth-bound measurements. This data will be important because it can measure CO2 over oceans where land-based measurements cannot measure.

Understanding what drives these changes in the fate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will help scientists reduce uncertainties in global climate change projections. One of the biggest uncertainties is how much carbon dioxide is being put into the atmosphere.” — Mike Gunson, Project Scientist

The full story is posted in Bloomberg’s The Grid.

Update on Carbon Dioxide Satellite

As reported in Nature, the carbon dioxide satellite was successfully launched into orbit 705 kilometers above the earth on July 2, 2014.  The satellite will measure CO2 in the atmosphere by detecting sunlight reflected by CO2 molecules.  Each measurement will measure a column of about 3 square kilometers.  The satellite will also measure plant uptake of CO2 by measuring fluorescence produced by chlorophyll during photosynthesis.  In total, the satellite should provide abundant new information about this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

 

About the Author: Lauren Boitel

Lauren Boitel is the Executive Director of ImpactNV, a statewide sustainability NGO convener and coalition builder that drives systemic change around economic, environmental, and social sustainability in the Silver State. Lauren has 12 years of experience as a Sustainability Professional in Southern Nevada and teaches Sustainability & Entrepreneurship for the Lee Business School at UNLV.

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