NASA successfully launched its first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric CO2. Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) will be NASA’s first dedicated Earth remote sensing satellite to study atmospheric carbon dioxide from Space. OCO-2 will be collecting space-based global measurements of atmospheric CO2 with the precision, resolution, and coverage needed to characterize sources and sinks on regional scales. “Sources and sinks” are the keys words here. As I posted before, when CO2 is added in the atmosphere only a part stays in there (which drives warming). The remained part could be absorbed by the ocean, and land. However, exactly where is highly uncertain. Thus this sensors will help to solve this part of the puzzle. Also OCO-2 will also be able to quantify CO2 variability over the seasonal cycles year after year.
The idea is simple. Fact 1:Plants reduce CO2 in the atmosphere trough photosynthesis. Fact 2: Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere stimulates plants growth. Thus fact 1 + fact 2 is the perfect scenario. If there is more CO2 in the atmosphere and plants are growing more because of that, the solution to global warming is to plant more trees right? Well not really. There is a missing piece called Carbon cycle.