stepping up the fight against climate change
They provide satellites which track our every move, shuttles which have reached the moon and robots that explore life on Mars, and now Nasa are preparing to launch the world’s first satellite designed to map concentrations of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. The satellite will be launched later today from its base in California.
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (Oco) will collect precise measurements of the greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere, identifying where it is coming from, where it is absorbed and what happens to it in between.
This improved tracking of CO2 will help scientists develop maps in order to show how the gas is concentrated around the world and give a better picture of how it affects the Earth’s climate. Governments will be able to use the data when setting and monitoring CO2 emissions targets designed to tackle climate change. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Houston, we have a revolution in satellite technology on our hands. Over.