Where is the Carbon Going?
July 7, 2014
NASA’s first spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere — the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 — is in final preparations for a July 1 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Carbon dioxide is a critical component of Earth’s carbon cycle and is the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth’s climate. At approximately 400 parts per million, atmospheric carbon dioxide is at a higher level than ever before in recorded history. But less than half the carbon dioxide emitted into Earth’s atmosphere by human activities stays there, while the rest is absorbed by the ocean and natural land "sinks." Scientists hope the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 will help resolve the longstanding scientific puzzle of where this carbon is going. To learn more about OCO-2, please visit: www.nasa.gov/oco2 To learn more about NASA's Earth science activities in 2014, please visit: www.nasa.gov/earthrightnow
Topics: Environment, Greenhouse gases, Carbon dioxide, Chemistry, Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere, Orbiting Carbon Observatory, Carbon cycle, Atmosphere, Spaceflight, National Aeronautics and Space Administration