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Satellite Gives Scientists New Vantage Point In Climate Change Research

A satellite launched into space last year is giving scientists new insight into carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and how it is warming the Earth.

This gives scientists an unprecedented global view of the greenhouse gas.

Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 is part of a fleet of satellites observing the gas responsible for trapping heat in our atmosphere, gradually warming our planet.

NASA scientist Peter Griffith says oceans absorb much of this heat. He says as ocean temperatures rise the water expands, contributing to sea level rise.

“Even reducing emissions right now, the amount of carbon that’s already in the atmosphere is going to keep absorbing more heat. So sea level rise is going to continue even with emissions reductions.”

The satellites collect data on how water and vegetation absorb carbon dioxide. Griffith says the findings confirm scientists’ assumption that plant growth reduces the gas in our atmosphere.

World leaders will meet next month in Paris to discuss emissions reductions.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »