Earth Observation Satellites Are Helping
Scientists Better Understand Global Change

Global warming is affecting more than just atmospheric temperatures — it is also changing water cycles, soil conditions, and animal migrations. Earth observation satellites aid scientists in measuring and monitoring these changes so societies can better adapt. Here is a gallery of satellite projects that scientists are using to better understand how the planet is changing. READ MORE

 

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NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) is one of five Earth-observing missions launched in 2014 — the most in a single year in more than a decade. OCO-2, which joins a set of five observation satellites already orbiting the Earth, will monitor the global carbon cycle by measuring how atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbs individual bands, or wavelengths, of sunlight. The satellite will collect roughly one million measurements per day, although only about a tenth of those are expected to be cloud-free enough to provide useable data. The two-year mission will allow scientists to track sources of CO2 emissions and the “sinks” where it is absorbed from the atmosphere. (Photo credit: NASA)

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