The amount of carbon dioxide in earth’s atmosphere is significantly increasing due to human activity and a lack of environmental friendly practices used by the public. According to NASA, one third of the carbon dioxide released into the air is dissolved into the ocean, which can threaten the livelihood of the marine ecosystem. Half of the carbon dioxide remains in the air. It is unknown where the remaining carbon dioxide goes, so to track the amount of carbon dioxide and its location, NASA has developed an earth orbiting satellite called OCO-2.
This new satellite will track and measure the carbon cycle and provide information as to where the remaining carbon dioxide will end up. During the ice ages, carbon dioxide levels were around 200 parts per million (ppm), or .2 g/L, and increased to 400 ppm, or .4 g/L, in 2013. It is important to know this information and be able to measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere so we can better prepare for changes in the environment. For example, an increased amount of carbon dioxide may cause extreme natural disasters and negatively impact food sources and animals. NASA’s new satellite will help to not only measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but it will also keep scientists informed about what to expect in the future regarding where the carbon dioxide will be absorbed and how this may impact the planet over time.