Human activities add over 39 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into Earth’s atmosphere every year. If every living man, woman and child on the planet contributed equally to the problem, that would come out to five and a half tons of emitted CO2 per person. But some carbon footprints are larger than others. On average, each person in the U.S. produces about 16 tons of CO2 per year mostly by burning coal, oil and natural gas.
NASA’s new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) has the potential to be a game changer. The technology on OCO-2 is so sensitive that every day scientists will have 100 times more measurements than they presently do.
OCO-2 is scheduled to launch on July 1, 2014. Find out more about the science, spacecraft and instrument at Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2).
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OCO-2 is part of NASA's Earth Right Now campaign, a series of five Earth science missions that will be launched into space in the same year, opening new and improved remote eyes to monitor our changing planet.