Scientists from the United States, Japan, and China are racing to perfect satellite technology that could one day measure greenhouse gas emissions from space, potentially transforming the winner into the world's first climate cop.
Monitoring a single country's net emissions from above could not only become an important tool to establish whether it had met its promises to slow global warming, a point of contention at climate talks in Paris, but also help emitters to pinpoint the sources of greenhouse gases more quickly and cheaply.
The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), launched its first satellite to measure atmospheric CO2 in July last year.Orange and yellow, orange, and red blobs, huh? But, notice: they didn't include a satellite image of these blobs, which you would think they would....
The challenge now is to convert the images - which pick up carbon concentrations in the form of yellow, orange, and red blobs - into emissions data, said Steven Pawson, chief of the Global Modelling and Assimilation Office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
.... except...maybe the satellite doesn't show what they want it to show...like perhaps it shows that southern African and South America are major CO2 sources, and are greater sources than those evil northern capitalist polluters in the US, Europe, and China.
See my previous post from last year:
I just want to park this article somewhere for future reference. As a background: NASA sent up a satellite which can map CO2 emissions. I'm sure everyone on the team and in the science community expected a result showing North America, Europe and China as BAD!!! and places like Africa and the Amazon rain forest as GOOD!!!
However, the satellite showed pretty much the exact opposite: the Amazon and other verdant areas, it turns out, send out massive amounts of atmospheric CO2, much more than do the developed world.
|NASA/JPL image from CO2 Satellite|
A post on Watts Up With That asks the question: what's next? and posits that there are three options:
1) The satellite will continue to operate well, with clean, reliable data being transmitted to the world.
2) NASA will try to fudge the data by averaging and massaging it to oblivion.
3) The satellite will suffer a catastrophic failure and be decommissioned.
As the author, Ronald D Voisin, says, if the data is taken seriously then certain facts have to be faced. such as:
Insect and microbial emissions, each at 10X all anthropogenic emission, dominate in these lush forested areas while the historically mildly warming oceans are also net CO2 contributors. And, anthropogenic emission is essentially irrelevant to atmospheric CO2 concentration at an approximately 2% contribution to the natural flux.