Sunday, June 29, 2014

Satellite that Measures Carbon Dioxide to Launch July 1

Five years after crashing into the Pacific Ocean, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory will get a second chance. Expected to launch July 1, the second version known as OCO-2 has a singular mission: to track carbon dioxide from space. (Credit: JPL/NASA) Click to enlarge.
The US space agency NASA is about to send up a satellite that will provide vital data for predicting future effects of CO2 by taking the measure of the planetary carbon budget.

OCO-2, more formally known as Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, is planned for launch on July 1 and will circle the globe, taking an inventory of those places on the planet that absorb carbon from the atmosphere (the sinks) and those places that release it into the atmosphere (the sources).

“Knowing what parts of Earth are helping to remove carbon from our atmosphere will help us understand whether they can keep on doing so in future,” said the project scientist Michael Gunson, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  “Quantifying these sinks now will help us predict how fast CO2 will build up in the future.”

Satellite that Measures Carbon Dioxide to Launch July 1

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