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Latest Orbiting Carbon Observatory Stories

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2009-02-18 07:35:00

The launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory, or OCO, aboard a Taurus XL rocket is scheduled for Feb. 24. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 576-E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., is set for 1:51:30 a.m. PST during a 4-and-a-half-minute launch window. The spacecraft's final polar orbit will be 438 miles. OCO is NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's climate. OCO...

2009-02-16 09:23:39

The global travel logs of greenhouse gases are based on atmospheric sampling locations sprinkled over the Earth and short towers that measure the uptake or release of carbon from a small patch of forest. But those measurements don't agree with current computer models of how plants and soils behave. A University of Michigan researcher is developing a unique way to reconcile these crucial data. "If we're going to adapt to climate change, we need to be able to predict what the climate will be,"...

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2009-02-10 20:10:00

The challenge: very precisely measure carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere all over the world, especially near Earth's surface. For Orbiting Carbon Observatory Principal Investigator David Crisp of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and his team, the logical solution was an Earth-orbiting spacecraft. But shopping for a science instrument that could accomplish these objectives was no easy task. In this case, "shopping" meant finding the right technology to meet the mission's...

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2009-02-05 21:30:00

Recent years have seen an increase in record-setting events related to climate change. For example, 2005 was the warmest year globally in more than a century, and in 2007, Arctic sea ice retreated more than in any other time in recorded history. A new NASA mission set to launch later this month will help scientists better understand the most important human-produced greenhouse gas contributing to climate change: carbon dioxide. Called the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, the satellite may help...

2009-01-29 10:00:00

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide is in final preparations for a Feb. 23 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Carbon dioxide is the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's climate. (LOGO: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The Orbiting Carbon Observatory will provide the first complete picture of human and natural carbon dioxide sources as well...

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2009-01-29 10:15:00

NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide is in final preparations for a Feb. 23 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Carbon dioxide is the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's climate. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory will provide the first complete picture of human and natural carbon dioxide sources as well as their "sinks," the places where carbon dioxide is pulled out of the atmosphere and stored. It will map the...

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2009-01-24 07:20:00

Picture a tree in the forest. The tree "inhales" carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, transforming that greenhouse gas into the building materials and energy it needs to grow its branches and leaves. By removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the tree serves as an indispensable "sink," or warehouse, for carbon that, in tandem with Earth's other trees, plants and the ocean, helps reduce rising levels of carbon dioxide in the air that contribute to global warming. Each year, humans release...

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2009-01-22 13:28:37

NASA will hold a media briefing on Thursday, Jan. 29, at 11 a.m. EST to discuss the upcoming Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission, the first NASA spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide. The televised briefing will take place in the James E. Webb Memorial Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. S.W., Washington. Set for launch Feb. 23 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the experimental Orbiting Carbon Observatory will map the global distribution of carbon dioxide, the...

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2009-01-14 09:25:46

Every time we get into our car, turn the key and drive somewhere, we burn gasoline, a fossil fuel derived from crude oil. The burning of the organic materials in fossil fuels produces energy and releases carbon dioxide and other compounds into Earth's atmosphere. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat in our atmosphere, warming it and disturbing Earth's climate. Scientists agree that human activities have been the primary source for the observed rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide...

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2009-01-07 11:52:49

Japan is set to launch its Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) this month in an effort to monitor the emissions of carbon dioxide and methane around the world. Slated to launch using the H-2A rocket on January 21, GOSAT is also known as Ibuki, which is Japanese for "breath" because the satellite will track how the Earth exhales greenhouse gases in 56,000 locations around the world. It will orbit at an altitude of 666 kilometers above the Earth. There were only 282 land-based...