Follow this link to skip to the main content

OCO-2 News Articles

  • Earth Science on the Space Station Continues to Grow February 16, 2017
    Earth Science on the Space Station Continues to Grow
    The number of instruments on the International Space Station dedicated to observing Earth to increase our understanding of our home planet continues to grow.Earth Science on the Space Station Continues to Grow
  • 3-D Animation: See How CO2 Moves in Earth's Atmosphere December 15, 2016
    3-D Animation: See How CO2 Moves in Earth's Atmosphere
    Using data from a NASA satellite perched 436 miles above Earth's surface, scientists developed a 3-D model of carbon dioxide in the…3-D Animation: See How CO2 Moves in Earth's Atmosphere
  • New, Space-Based View of Human-Made Carbon Dioxide November 1, 2016
    New, Space-Based View of Human-Made Carbon Dioxide
    Scientists have produced the first global maps of human emissions of carbon dioxide ever made solely from satellite observations of the greenhouse gas.New, Space-Based View of Human-Made Carbon Dioxide
  • Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Record High, Ushering in a 'New Era of Climate Reality October 25, 2016
    Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Record High, Ushering in a 'New Era of Climate Reality
    The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record-high level, ushering in a "new era of climate reality," according to the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization (WMO).Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Record High, Ushering in a 'New Era of Climate Reality
  • As Peat Bogs Burn, a Climate Threat Rises August 8, 2016
    As Peat Bogs Burn, a Climate Threat Rises
    Kristyn Housman grabbed the end of a sampling auger, a steel tube that two colleagues had just drilled into a moss-covered hummock in a peat bog, and poked through a damp, fibrous plug of partly decomposed peat.As Peat Bogs Burn, a Climate Threat Rises
  • NASA Flights to Track Greenhouse Gases Across Eastern US July 6, 2016
    NASA Flights to Track Greenhouse Gases Across Eastern US
    This month, NASA begins an airborne experiment to improve scientists’ understanding of the sources of two powerful greenhouse gases and how they cycle into and out of the atmosphere.NASA Flights to Track Greenhouse Gases Across Eastern US
  • Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestone June 13, 2016
    Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestone
    Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 will shatter the symbolic barrier of 400 parts per million (ppm) this year and will not fall below it our in our lifetimes, according to a new Met Office study.Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestone
  • United States absorbed carbon dioxide despite a drought April 25, 2016
    United States absorbed carbon dioxide despite a drought
    The warm spring of 2012 in the U.S. caused plants to absorb more carbon, thereby compensating for reductions during the subsequent summer drought, researchers have demonstrated.United States absorbed carbon dioxide despite a drought
  • Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than Expected March 16, 2016
    Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than Expected
    The bend-don’t-break adaptability of trees extends to handling climate change, according to a new study that says forests may be able to deal with hotter temperatures and contribute less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than scientists previously thought.Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than Expected
  • Consumers care about carbon footprint February 26, 2016
    Consumers care about carbon footprint
    How much do consumers care about the carbon footprint of the products they buy? Would they care more if the goods were labeled with emissions data?Consumers care about carbon footprint

Watching the planet breathe
Watching the planet breathe

When plants photosynthesize, they use energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide from the air into sugars used to live and grow. In doing so, they give off a fluorescent light — a glow that can’t be seen with the naked eye, but that can be seen with the right instruments. More photosynthesis translates into more fluorescence, meaning that the plants are very productive in taking up carbon dioxide. The amount of carbon dioxide taken up by plants is called “gross primary productivity,” and is the largest part of the global carbon cycle.