You Can Manage Only What You Can Measure
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You Can Manage Only What You Can Measure

July 7, 2014
Much about carbon dioxide — the key driver of climate change — remains a mystery. Scientists are able to accurately measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, both today and in the past, and see our impact. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution to 400 parts per million today. But much about the processes that govern the gas's atmospheric concentration remains a mystery. We still do not know precisely where all of the carbon dioxide comes from and how different natural "sinks" -- oceans and forests — absorb and later release carbon back to the atmosphere. Scientists expect to get some answers soon to these and other compelling carbon questions, thanks to the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, a new Earth-orbiting NASA satellite scheduled to launch on July 1. OCO-2 will allow scientists to record detailed daily measurements of carbon dioxide -- around 100,000 measurements of the gas around the world every day. To follow coverage of the OCO-2 launch and mission, go to: www.nasa.gov/oco2 To learn more about NASA's Earth science activities in 2014, go to: www.nasa.gov/earthrightnow

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