Measuring Carbon Dioxide

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.

Progress & Natural Resources

Today we live in large industrial world that depends heavily on the extraction of natural resources and its mass consumption. Through technological development, nations can thrive in the economic field when exporting natural resources but there are negative factors that hurt the atmosphere. In the U.S. 60% of americas live in high polluted areas, with rising high levels of natural resource consumptions. The levels of pollution in the world is rising and the U.S. is in the middle of the development.

In the reading by the Union of Concerned  Scientists, concluded that every 10,000 U.S. homes powered with with natural gas instead of coal avoids the annual emissions of 1,900 tons of NOx, 3,900 tons of SO2, and 5,200 tons of particulates. There are renewable energy that is present and can be used by governments and private industries, but the business aspects of natural resources creates a challenge switching energy consumptions methods.

The removal of natural resources from the environment often creates bad living conditions for locals to to make a living. Many countries in Latin America are suffering from the exploitation from corporations that remove the natural resources without concern for the negative effects. Latin America is responsible for 974.6 million metric tons of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, with high rates in the manufacturing, and transporting sectors. They are responsible for a large factor of the rise in pollution because of the exploitation of the natural resources.

Countries like Brazil that are abundant in nature resources tends to have high rates of air pollution due to its industrialization. The cost of air pollution to the health sector is estimated to be more than $670 million and causes more than 4,000 premature deaths each year. The negative effects of pollution are continually increasing but the solution is alternative energies, which are slowly being implemented into society.