From: NOAA
Published October 17, 2017 08:16 AM

NOAA observing buoys validate findings from NASA's new satellite for measuring carbon dioxide

The strong El Niño event of 2015-2016 provided NASA and NOAA an unprecedented opportunity to test the effectiveness of the newest observation tool to measure global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations -- NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite or OCO-2.

Observations of carbon dioxide concentrations over the tropical Pacific from the satellite were validated by data from NOAA’s Tropical Pacific Observing System of buoys, which directly measure carbon dioxide concentrations at the surface of the ocean.

Both observing systems showed that in the early months of the El Niño, during the spring of 2015, outgassing of carbon dioxide over the tropical Pacific Ocean significantly declined by 26 to 54 percent. “This response is consistent with what we expect from a theoretical understanding, and comparable to what the NOAA data suggests,” said Richard Feely, senior scientist at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, who is a co-author of a new study appearing today in Science.

The research is part of a series of studies to better understand the growth of carbon dioxide concentrations in the global atmosphere using the new NASA satellite.  The studies show how various regions contribute to those emissions or serve as sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide emissions at different times.

 

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Photo via NOAA.

 

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