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The United States will launch a carbon observation satellite

2019-4-29 14:57| 发布者: 左二爷| 查看: 285| 评论: 0|来自: 四川耍耍网scshua114.com

摘要: Atmospheric scientists are about to make the most detailed observations to date of where carbon is emitted or stored on Earth. If all goes well, NASA will launch its latest carbon monitoring instrumen ...
Atmospheric scientists are about to make the most detailed observations to date of where carbon is emitted or stored on Earth. If all goes well, NASA will launch its latest carbon monitoring instrument to the International Space Station on April 30.

The $110 million orbital carbon observatory 3(OCO-3) will be installed outside the space station. The detector will be used to monitor areas of the Earth that are not easily detected by carbon measurement satellites, thus collecting data at higher resolution in larger areas than its predecessors. The researchers hope that the data obtained by the three-year OCO-3 mission will improve their understanding of the Earth's carbon cycle, while improving the prediction of climate change and improving the measurement of carbon dioxide.
Annmarie Elding, an environmental engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., and a scientist on the OCO-3 project, said the upcoming launch was somewhat stressful and exciting for researchers. A carbon monitoring satellite launched by NASA in 2009 crashed into the ocean near Antarctica before entering the scheduled orbit. The agency later launched a polar orbit OCO-2 satellite in 2014 instead of the former.
Lori Garver, a space policy analyst with the Earth Research Union in Washington, D.C., who funds climate change research projects, said that since then, the OCO-2 satellite, together with the carbon detection satellites of Japan and China, has provided an unprecedented amount of data on carbon sources and sinks on the Earth.
Elding said that the current data from the carbon observation mission is valuable, but it is not yet enough to accurately reconstruct all the cycles of this substance on Earth. Previous studies have shown that, on average, 50 per cent of human carbon emissions remain in the atmosphere. The earth's oceans and plants store the rest of the carbon, but scientists know little about the exact location of these carbon sinks and how climate change affects their ability to store it.
Observations from OCO-2 and OCO-3 will help researchers track carbon dioxide, according to Annuobao, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan at the University of Michigan. "This will enable us to improve climate models to better predict whether ecosystems and oceans will continue to solve half the CO2 problem for us over the next 50 years," she said. "
The reason why OCO-3 can carry out detailed observations is mainly due to the flexibility of the instrument. The new detector will measure the intensity of the sun's reflection, and then estimate the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere near the earth's surface. In particular, by using a set of mirrors, scientists can quickly position OCO-3 sensors anywhere in their field of vision. In contrast, the alignment of OCO-2 with a specific location on Earth requires the rotation of the entire spacecraft.
The OCO-3 observation area covers approximately 6,400 square kilometers and its area is 16 times that of the OCO-2 field of view. "It's very exciting. "JPL ecologist Nicholas Parazoo said that because researchers had not been able to observe such a large area at high resolution at the same time.
Compared with other carbon observation satellites, NASA's latest carbon detector will monitor different regions of the earth at different times of the day. Keppel-Aleks said that this would provide researchers with data on important carbon storage areas(such as the Amazon region and the Congo Basin)-when other satellites, including OCO-2, fly over these areas, the sky is usually covered by clouds.
Parazoo said that combined with its greenhouse gas data, OCO-3 will also measure how much carbon plants absorb, which will help scientists monitor areas where large amounts of carbon are stored more closely than before.
These "data can make people truly understand what is going to happen," Garver said, "and react in a timely manner. "
It is reported that NASA plans to launch a total of six similar earth monitoring satellites. Such satellites orbit the earth every 99 minutes, and six satellites can achieve comprehensive simultaneous observations of the earth. OCO-3 is the second in a series of satellites.

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