Topic 3f - GHG monitoring and identifying sources

When studying carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere it is important to know where it is now, but it is also vital to know where it came from (sources), where it has been and where it goes to (sinks) in order to understand processes that control the amount of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

Sources of CO2 are both natural and anthropgenic. Natural sources include animal and plant respiration, the oceans, decomposition of organic matter, forest fires, and emissions from volcanic eruptions. Anthropogenic sources include power generation, transportation, industrial sources, chemical production, petroleum production, and agricultural practices.

Satellites that currently monitor CO2 include NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), which takes around 100,000 high-quality measurements each day of carbon dioxide concentrations from around the globe. Sentinel-5p and Sentinel-5 (which will launch in 2021) measure both carbon monoxide and methane. The planned Sentinel-7 mission, will be a Carbonsat-type mission, focusing on anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

Featured Educators

  • Dr Seppo Hassinen
  • Dr Janne Hakkarainen
  • Dr Mark Parrington

Don’t forget you can download the video, transcript and take any quizzes available with the links on the right.

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