Monitoring of atmospheric CO2 concentration

 Monitoring of atmospheric CO2 concentration

Greenhouse gases have long been one of the most challenging causes of climate change. To reduce their emissions means to reduce the spiralling increase of the Earth’s average temperature. Thus, it is fundamental to control them: there are many ways to do so.

By Luíz Miguel da Costa / AJN Brasil

Due to the unbridled emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) by human action in nature, the climate has been suffering great changes, such as the increase in the average temperature of the planet. Thus, the global climate change caused by the emission of GHG has become one of the biggest problems of the century. Scientists around the world have focused on understanding this phenomenon and how human beings affect this process, but how is this monitoring done?

It can be done in some ways: one of the most widely used methods is from data from meteorological stations installed on the Earth’s surface, such as NOAA and more recently by remote sensing, using specific satellites that are in orbit on Earth. Some examples of application are the studies published by Remote Sensing in 2017 and by Atmospheric Measurement Techniques in 2013.

The use of these satellites has become increasingly popular due to the practicality and facility to obtain these data, in some cases the databases generated by these satellites have open access, which allows the community in general to verify the observations. Recently NASA launched a new model in orbit called OCO-3  that came to succeed the previous project, the so-called OCO-2. Other space agencies also present satellites as the same objective as the US agency.

These are just a few examples of how this technology can help contribute to understanding the dynamics of CO2 in the atmosphere, and where the main sources and sinks of carbon are around the Earth. It is important to point out that this monitoring does not happen only with greenhouse gases, but with environmental monitoring in general, through the dynamics of vegetation, for example. This technology has great potential to help us build more sustainable paths for our and for the next generations!

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