Human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) have been linked for the first time by scientists to brief geographical changes in atmospheric CO2.
Artificial CO2 emissions were detected for the first time ever using a combo of NASA satellites plus computerized atmospheric models. CO2 emissions, even during the COVID-19 epidemic, are being monitored from orbit using information from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2). Having daily & monthly information products now accessible to the world, new opportunities for monitoring the aggregate impact of humans’ behaviors on Co2 levels in near real-time are created.
From February to May 2020, CO2 concentrations in the North Hemisphere decreased, commensurate with a 3% to 13% decline in worldwide output for the year, according to the research team’s findings.
The team’s findings reflect a significant advancement in the study of local climate change impacts and the monitoring of the outcomes of mitigation initiatives, the scientists stated in a press release. Natural and human sources may be tracked throughout time using this technique, which detects variations in atmospheric CO2 only a few months after they occurred.
Before now, space technology couldn’t be used to detect these types of shifts in the atmosphere or ocean. The high-precision spectrophotometers of NASA’s OCO-2 satellite, paired with the extensive GEOS Earth mechanism, were an ideal match for seeing the pandemic-related alterations.
An external assessment of lockdown emissions was used to compare CO2 levels detected in the atmosphere with those predicted by the researchers. According to those other calculations, the consistency between emission levels models and CO2 measurements gives compelling evidence that the decreases were caused by human activity.
GEOS provided crucial data on wind currents as well as other normal weather changes that impact CO2 output and transportation. The GEOS-OCO-2 integrated product may be downloaded for free, making it open to students and researchers that want to examine it further.
The study was published in Science Advances.