NASA has announced the initiation of a new study focusing on our planet’s ability to absorb CO2 at higher temps.
We humans are the only species on Earth that has managed to surpass its homeostatic mechanisms and overpopulate the planet with exceedingly high rates.
And as a result, we have created an environment that consists of several issues within the human society (poverty, diseases, etc) but more importantly, issues that affect the whole planet and its future.
For instance, due to humanity, carbon dioxide levels have skyrocketed at 400 parts per million within the past 400,000 years. Current levels of CO2 are at the highest they’ve ever been.
And it would have been unspeakably worse if it weren’t for all the plants, trees, the ocean’s salt water, marine plants and animals. They all absorb 50% of our carbon dioxide emissions. Interesting, isn’t it?
Well, it has also drawn NASA’s interest, which is why they launched a multi-year project to figure out the exact mechanisms that our planet uses to absorb carbon dioxide, as well as to determine whether Earth’s continuously warming environment can affect its absorption rate.
The above statement was made during a media teleconference on Thursday, by NASA itself and several university scientists.
“NASA is at the forefront of scientific understanding in this area, bringing together advanced measurement technologies, focused field experiments, and cutting-edge research to reveal how carbon moves around the planet and changes our climate,” said Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division. “Understanding how the planet responds to human carbon emissions and increasing atmospheric CO2 levels will position our nation to take advantage of the opportunities and face the challenges that climate changes present.”
The American space agency plans to collect all the necessary data by using satellites and flying two new instruments to the ISS. In fact, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 satellite has already begun monitoring CO2 distribution across the globe.
Mike Behrenfeld, another expert – NAAMES principal investigator from Oregon State University in Corvallis – stated:
“We will be studying an ocean region that every year exhibits one of the largest natural phytoplankton blooms on Earth. Phytoplankton are not only influenced by climate, but they also influence climate. That’s why we’re out here in the North Atlantic in the middle of November.”
All that sounds fascinating, but such a project would – and will – take years to come to any conclusions. But until that time comes, stay tuned to read all the latest news on this and many other hot topics.