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NASA Launching Satellite To Track Carbon

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the getting-the-numbers dept.

Space 190

An anonymous reader writes A NASA satellite being prepared for launch early on Tuesday is expected to reveal details about where carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas tied to climate change, is being released into Earth's atmosphere on a global scale. From the article: "The $468 million mission is designed to study the main driver of climate change emitted from smokestacks and tailpipes. Some of the carbon dioxide is sucked up by trees and oceans, and the rest is lofted into the atmosphere, trapping the sun's heat and warming the planet. But atmospheric CO2 levels fluctuate with the seasons and in different regions of the Earth. The natural and human activities that cause the changes are complicated. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2 for short, will be able to take an ultra-detailed look at most of the Earth's surface to identify places responsible for producing or absorbing the greenhouse gas."

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what a waste of money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349289)

carbon has nothing to do with the temperatures on earth

Re:what a waste of money (4, Funny)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#47349319)

You obliviously know nothing about science. Until we eliminate all carbon dioxide from the earth's atmosphere, humanity will be in danger.

Re:what a waste of money (4, Funny)

timholman (71886) | about 4 months ago | (#47349375)

We must go even further than that. We must entirely eliminate all carbon and carbon-containing compounds from the earth's biosphere. Otherwise, oxidation of organic compounds will once again result in the release of CO2.

As a side effect, doing so will eliminate all danger of young children dying due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Think of the children!

Re:what a waste of money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349431)

Down with carbon!!!!!
Down with carbon!!!!!
Down with carbon!!!!!

Re:what a waste of money (3, Interesting)

sinij (911942) | about 4 months ago | (#47349439)

To science denialists above, I hope you apply equal skepticism to medicine and health and food safety aspects of scientific knowledge. This way your views will have self-correcting, instead of humanity-correcting impact.

Re:what a waste of money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349521)

Sure thing, my cancer treatment has a specific % of success that I can look up. IPCC AGW reports are 100% wrong every time, so I can conclude if the IPCC says it, it won't happen.

Its science! You spout religion because you believe it despite the "science" being wrong every single time. 18 years unexplained no warming and counting, an inconvenient truth indeed.
(Is it wrong to troll the trolls?)

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349573)

This was the coldest winter this country has ever seen. Fact.

Re:what a waste of money (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47349751)

If my feet are cold, that means I can't possibly have a fever. Fact.

Re:what a waste of money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349891)

For the hundredth time, Weather is NOT climate--unless the weather is extreme or hotter than normal, then it is climate. But if it's mild or colder than normal, it is DEFINITELY NOT climate.

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349977)

You can fuck around with dictionary definitions and be clever with words all you want - the fact still remains, and I emphasize the point I'm using NUMBERS and not words - that the data points do not bear out your theory.

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350259)

Numbers don't mean shit without interpretation. And starting with an unfalsifiable hypothesis, then accepting all evidence which supports it and dismissing all evidence that doesn't, isn't science. It's religion.

Re:what a waste of money (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47350561)

Are you talking about yourself now? :-)

34th from being a record cold winter (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 4 months ago | (#47350647)

This was the coldest winter this country has ever seen. Fact.

Not a fact.

The winter of 2013 - 2014 was one of the ten coldest winters in history in the Midwest U.S.

It was the warmest winter on record in California, and set records for high temperatures in Alaska.

Overall, it was the 34th coolest winter in the contiguous U.S. since records began in 1895. The contiguous United States comprises 1.5% of the surface area of the Earth. One season, in 1.5% of the Earth's surface: this is weather, not climate

http://www.wunderground.com/bl... [wunderground.com]
http://www.weather.com/news/wi... [weather.com]

Re:what a waste of money (1)

Michael Simpson (2902481) | about 4 months ago | (#47350535)

That really is the problem, isn't it? IPCC has been 100% wrong on every forecast. At what point do we give credence to anything put out by this obvioulsy inept orgainzation.

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349577)

What's more stupid?

This, or spending money on "Muslim Outreach".

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349651)

The forceful and unassailable tone taken by !=DrWho hilites his/her contempt for science itself. We as a planet loving species will have to realize we are part of the ecosystem and with incredible capacity to change things around us.. .including the compostion of that thin layer of air over the crust we inhabit. This satellite will get some attention to the massive sources, some of which will likely be surprising, but most, not.

Re:what a waste of money (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#47349953)

The forceful and unassailable tone taken by !=DrWho hilites his/her contempt for science itself.

Sometimes when I'm alone, I draw mustaches on pictures of Albert Einstein--because NO ONE fucks with Isaac Newton in MY HOOD, BITCH!

Re:what a waste of money (0)

OakDragon (885217) | about 4 months ago | (#47350297)

Three out of four of the above comments are jokes. But AGW proponents apparently have no sense of humor about this.

Re:what a waste of money (2, Funny)

rwa2 (4391) | about 4 months ago | (#47350373)

This is not joking matter! Next up on the agenda is Oxygen sequestration, a noxious, highly reactive, corrosive gas that instantly kills most cells it comes into contact with and, in high enough concentrations, can set just about anything on fire!

And don't even get us started on dihydrogen monoxide!

Re:what a waste of money (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 4 months ago | (#47350413)

I label you "denier." ;)

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350423)

Zealots have no sense of humor when it comes to their cause. They can attack their critics in the most brutal fashion (incl lobbing off their heads), force people to adopt their beliefs at sword-point, lead crusades, and fight holy wars. But they absolutely CANNOT take a joke.

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350559)

How can you tell the difference between a climate alarmist and an islamic extremist? You can't.

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349581)

Indeed. The earth might be struck by a sufficiently-large meteor, just for example. Until we eliminate all carbon dioxide from the earth's atmosphere we aren't completely safe against something like that. That we wouldn't become safe after eliminating all carbon dioxide either (or even have much chance of survival from then on) is beside the point.

Re:what a waste of money (1, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47349867)

I like how you denialiest(ers?) are in such a quandary you need to make up nonsense in order to attempt to keep the conversation going.

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350017)

And I love how you AGW religious zealots have absolutely no sense of humor.

But isn't that always the case with mindless zealots?

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350595)

What's the quandray? How to get alarmist fanatics to step back from the precipice?

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350293)

Until we eliminate all carbon dioxide from the earth's atmosphere, humanity will be in danger.

Then you should stop breathing?

Re:what a waste of money (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47350589)

You obliviously know nothing about science. Until we eliminate all carbon dioxide from the earth's atmosphere, humanity will be in danger.

Actually, that would destroy open field agriculture. But seeing as the concentration of CO2 will naturally decrease due to the feedback in long-term carbon cycles, this is inevitable - about a billion years in the future or so. So we don't have to work very hard at it. :-)

Re:what a waste of money (3, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47349415)

carbon has nothing to do with the temperatures on earth

You're right. But this story is about carbon dioxide, not carbon. If it were all stored as carbon, we couldn't have a problem. Carbon dioxide, however, is the single biggest contributor to the temperature on earth there is. Also, I suspect you're just a troll :-)

Re:what a waste of money (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349575)

carbon has nothing to do with the temperatures on earth

You're right. But this story is about carbon dioxide, not carbon. If it were all stored as carbon, we couldn't have a problem. Carbon dioxide, however, is the single biggest contributor to the temperature on earth there is. Also, I suspect you're just a troll :-)

I assume you are aware that the current 380ppm CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere is pretty much an all-time geological low?

Earth's CO2 levels over the past 600 million years or so have averaged about 1,500ppm [geocraft.com] , with peaks up to perhaps 7,000+ ppm:

There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm -- about 18 times higher than today.

... the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm. ...

Re:what a waste of money (1)

itzly (3699663) | about 4 months ago | (#47349737)

I assume you are aware that the current 380ppm CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere is pretty much an all-time geological low?

Of course, but keep in mind that the sun has been getting hotter during its lifetime, so you can't just compare CO2 levels assuming everything else was the same.

Re:what a waste of money (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47349845)

You are aware that isn't true, right?

http://www.skepticalscience.co... [skepticalscience.com]

Re:what a waste of money (3, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | about 4 months ago | (#47350013)

It hasn't become hotter in recent decades but it has become hotter [northwestern.edu] over the past 600 million years.

Since its birth 4.5 billion years ago, the Sun's luminosity has very gently increased by about 30%.3 This is an inevitable evolution which comes about because, as the billions of years roll by, the Sun is burning up the hydrogen in its core. The helium "ashes" left behind are denser than hydrogen, so the hydrogen/helium mix in the Sun's core is very slowly becoming denser, thus raising the pressure. This causes the nuclear reactions to run a little hotter. The Sun brightens.

Re:what a waste of money (1)

Michael Simpson (2902481) | about 4 months ago | (#47350993)

So your argument is that it is the sun is the that drive earth's temp?

Re:what a waste of money (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47350653)

Re:what a waste of money (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47349851)

IS it?

http://www.skepticalscience.co... [skepticalscience.com]

Re:what a waste of money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350277)

Skeptical Science is like a Wikipedia run by a group of zealots.

Re:what a waste of money (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47349903)

And?
All the carbon has been sunk and allowed humans to thrive. Not we are releasing to our detriment. The current increase in Carbon is human doing, and is something we can do something about.

What is you point? keep spewing CO2 until we go extinct?

.

Re:what a waste of money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349619)

Wrong. Water vapor is the biggest single contributor to the the greenhouse effect on Earth, and the biggest contributor to the temperature is the Sun.

Re:what a waste of money (1)

ComputerGeek01 (1182793) | about 4 months ago | (#47349739)

Carbon dioxide, however, is the single biggest contributor to the temperature on earth there is. Also, I suspect you're just a troll :-)

No, the sun is still the largest factor determining the temperature on this planet. In fact, I have it on good authority that Carbon Dioxide doesn't generate any energy what so ever and it is in simply a by-product of a reaction that does. Keeping this in mind allows us to explore options beyond just burying crap in the ground.

Re:what a waste of money (2)

jittles (1613415) | about 4 months ago | (#47349955)

carbon has nothing to do with the temperatures on earth

You're right. But this story is about carbon dioxide, not carbon. If it were all stored as carbon, we couldn't have a problem. Carbon dioxide, however, is the single biggest contributor to the temperature on earth there is. Also, I suspect you're just a troll :-)

I thought solar radiation was the biggest contributor to the temperature of the Earth!

Thank you, thank you. I'll be pedantic all week.

Wow, CO2 beats out the Sun? (1)

mpercy (1085347) | about 4 months ago | (#47350207)

Perhaps you meant as a greenhouse gas, but then you dismiss water vapor?

Re:what a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349419)

That's right. Carbon is a liberal myth.

Personally, I think they're secretly made of carbon.

Not a waste of money (3, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 4 months ago | (#47349483)

In an argument between two sides, one of which says the science has been studied for a long time and is well understood and the other that says "no, it's all confusing," I'll be on the side that says "let's get more data."

Not a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349517)

Ironically, that would be the side saying the science has been studied for a long time, and is well understood.

You would think. But you would be wrong. (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 4 months ago | (#47349719)

In an argument between two sides, one of which says the science has been studied for a long time and is well understood and the other that says "no, it's all confusing," I'll be on the side that says "let's get more data."

Ironically, that would be the side saying the science has been studied for a long time, and is well understood.

That would be logical, wouldn't it? But it's not. That would be true if the side saying "it's all confusing" actually was confused, and actually wanted the understanding to improve. But, in fact, the people saying "let's not get data to try to learn more and understand the science better" are the same as the ones who tell us that we don't understand the science.

It's almost as if they don't want the science to be better understood.

Re:You would think. But you would be wrong. (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 4 months ago | (#47350289)

It's not that they don't want the science to be better understood, it's that they are convinced that government funding of scientific research is one of the factors contributing to their tax liability. For these folks we should leave scientific research to private industry, such as Koch Industries.

Why are they wasting money on this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349293)

The Scientists will just fudge the data anyway. Why doesn't NASA do the responsible thing and spend money helping people on Earth?

House of Represenatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349345)

How on earth did they miss this one, Science? Hogwash

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349363)

XCOM launching satellite to track aliens.

Unsurprising results? (1)

sinij (911942) | about 4 months ago | (#47349383)

CO2, a greenhouse gas, is tied to climate change but is also expected and always-present part of our atmosphere. Why do we need satellite to know this?

Can we have a better summary?

Re:Unsurprising results? (4, Informative)

itzly (3699663) | about 4 months ago | (#47349467)

We need a satellite to get (almost) real time insight in CO2 sources and sinks and the atmospheric mixing.

Re:Unsurprising results? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349973)

This. One of the biggest criticisms of GCMs is how large the error bars on the estimates are. Knowing the global carbon flux for any particular season (or the average) will have important ramifications for geophysicists and meteorologists everywhere.

Re:Unsurprising results? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349471)

CO2, a greenhouse gas, is tied to climate change but is also expected and always-present part of our atmosphere.

Only because mankind PUT it there, with our factories and cars!

Re:Unsurprising results? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349571)

yep, never a lick of CO2 in the atmosphere before man huh?? Never even a time where the levels were greater than after man either?

LOL

Re:Unsurprising results? (4, Informative)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 4 months ago | (#47349493)

From the article, it seems like there's a couple of reasons:

- Identify areas that are actively absorbing CO2 emissions. This is important because we can use it to figure out what the best way to naturally absorb CO2 is for use in things like city planning. For instance, we know that forests and the ocean absorb CO2, but we probably don't know which plants are the most efficient at doing so. If we find out which are the most efficient, they could probably be used in "green roof" projects in cities and in urban planning to alleviate CO2 output from cars.

- Study the difference in natural CO2 emissions (ie; not from burning fossil fuels) through the seasons, presumably to better identify man-made CO2 emissions.

- Find out what happens to the CO2 we emit once it reaches the atmosphere. Obviously, there Is always going to be CO2 in the atmosphere, but where it is and how it moves is a different story.

Re:Unsurprising results? (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 4 months ago | (#47349999)

For instance, we know that forests and the ocean absorb CO2, but we probably don't know which plants are the most efficient at doing so.

I hate to break it to you but we do know what plants are the most efficient. Hemp sequesters 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare. It is one of the top plants for sequestering CO2. I would also note that if you overlay the years that HEMP was produced as a cash crop in the US with the rise and fall of CO2 you will find they line up, including the increased production during WW2.

Re: Unsurprising results? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350927)

Seems burning it would release that carbon again? Good thing nobody wants to burn hemp.

Re:Unsurprising results? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349607)

CO2, a greenhouse gas, is tied to climate change but is also expected and always-present part of our atmosphere. Why do we need satellite to know this?

Can we have a better summary?

Why do we need this?

Because our climate models really aren't that good.

There, I said it.

And it's true - climate models have pretty much completely overpredicted increases in temperature over the past decade or so.

Getting better data will lead to better models which will lead to better predictions.

Re:Unsurprising results? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349621)

Obviously they want to blame someone else than USA. If they will go hunting for the worst CO2 concentrations, it's clearly another move in the facial reconstruction job the US government has embraced a couple of years back. Though the campaign has been pushed forward this 2014, with all the "most pollutants come from China" and "even when we drive V8s because we can't drive with a stick and we have to resort to bigger engines to compensate for our small dicks, we aren't the biggest pollutants on Earth" articles being published.

Re:Unsurprising results? (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#47349733)

co2 isn't uniformly mixed throughout the atmosphere. The satellite will give a better picture of where it is.

Re:Unsurprising results? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350473)

I predict there's a HUGE cloud of it around Rush Limbaugh.

Re:Unsurprising results? (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about 4 months ago | (#47350125)

Frankly I am glad to see someone actually doing some real research on the carbon cycle so we can understand the real issues and plan accordingly.

As opposed to what usually goes on where someone fancies up a computer model based on thirty year old assumptions backed up with shitty data from terrestrial monitoring stations down wind of localized heat sources and carbon emitters. Finally using their 'results' to push some political agenda and grab some more grant money.

This is a good thing it will put some hard facts on where the real problems are. I for one continue to suspect the biggest driver of climate change and CO2 levels will prove to be deforestation not humanities use of hydrocarbon fuel sources.

Re:Unsurprising results? (2)

itzly (3699663) | about 4 months ago | (#47350937)

The amount of CO2 released by burning fossil fuels is about twice the observed atmospheric increase, so it's hard to imagine that it's not the primary driver. Nevertheless, I think it's a good idea to launch this satellite and learn more about the details.

Re:Unsurprising results? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 months ago | (#47350597)

Because we have more CO2 in the atmosphere when we used to have for a long time and the amounts increase fast.

Like so:
http://climate.nasa.gov/400ppm... [nasa.gov]

wait a minute (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#47349403)

"The $468 million mission"...could have been used to research how to get rid of it or alternatives to fossil fuels.

Re:wait a minute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349561)

It could also be used to deport the debris currently swamping our southern borders.

Re:wait a minute (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#47349763)

We already know those things, but they're politically unfeasible right now. Getting more information may change that.

Re:wait a minute (2)

gtall (79522) | about 4 months ago | (#47350849)

More information will not change that. I've watched those people in Congress and their questioning of climate specialists. There's no amount of new information that will change their minds. I think it is an unholy influence of religion (Christ will save us), anti-Science (Science is some sort of dodge), economics (it will cost money to change), right-wingnut politics (if the left wants it, it must be bad), and finally, sheer ignorance (they never took a Science course they liked, and in most instances it appears they've never taken a Science course).

Congress is not a bunch of enlightened individuals. As individuals, they appear well-intentioned. However, put Klieg lights on them and their "questions" are really campaign points. And they usually have law backgrounds. That isn't bad in itself but they appear more intent on the form of an argument than on the basis for an argument. And then there is the lack of academic honesty: instead of admitting they do not know, they will accuse everyone else in the room of not knowing.

Meh, $468M is about one Solyndra (1)

mpercy (1085347) | about 4 months ago | (#47350255)

And we got zippo for that expenditure.

Hey, maybe we can start using "Solyndra" as a unit measuring government waste.

Scale (1)

gsslay (807818) | about 4 months ago | (#47349429)

"carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas tied to climate change, is being released into Earth's atmosphere on a global scale."

And here was me thinking it was being released on a inter-galactic scale.

Re:Scale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349555)

The scary thing is that a biologist friend of mine told me that *every single human being* is releasing over 2 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere *every day*, even if he or she doesn't even drive a car or use any electricity at all!

If we can't even stop that, what hope is there??

Re:Scale (2)

itzly (3699663) | about 4 months ago | (#47349635)

That's not a problem. The CO2 that's released by humans (and animals) is produced by metabolising carbon from food, and the food comes from plants that have been grown recently. During their growth, the plants have absorbed an equivalent amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. Even when eating meat, the animals are typically only a few years old and were fed on recently grown plants. In contrast, the cars run on fossil fuels that are hundreds of million years old.

Re:Scale (3, Interesting)

Sentrion (964745) | about 4 months ago | (#47350615)

All the more reason to plant and keep more trees, especially oaks and similar trees that will continue to grow for one to several hundred years. The more carbon they store long-term in the wood, the more CO2 is removed from the atmosphere, as long as we continue to grow more wood than we burn or allow to decompose. Decomposing wood should be buried a few feet beneath the soil to trap most of the CO2. The slower release of carbon into the soil also makes the soil richer for living plants (see also biochar).

Regardless of whether or not CO2 is really a problem, there are known hazards with extracting fossil fuels, such as the risk for oil spills, natural gas fires and explosions, cancer and poisoning from contact with petroleum, lung disease from inhaling coal dust, and questionable practices such as fracking that may pose risks of earthquakes, sinkholes, and contaminated ground water.

The "experts" assure us that these practices are safe and reliable. But we also had "experts" telling us that smoking was healthy for our lungs, x-rays were safe for checking the fit of our feet in our shoes, asbestos was a safe fire suppressant, sun bathing was healthy for our skin, etc.

What a load of crap (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349525)

How about we...um....you know...STUDY OUTER SPACE?! It disgusts me to see me tax dollars going to fund some idiotic garbage like perpetuating the myth of man made global warming. CLIMATE CHANGE IS CYCLICAL!

Re:What a load of crap (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349759)

How about we...um....you know...STUDY OUTER SPACE?! It disgusts me to see me tax dollars going to fund some idiotic garbage like perpetuating the myth of man made global warming. CLIMATE CHANGE IS CYCLICAL!

Why can't we have a like button on Slashdot? This is the best example of why we need a like button. And yes i am a troll who probably won't even read the rest of the comments on this subject because it is asinine and ridiculous. GLOBAL WARMING IS A MYTH made up by Al Gore to make a lot of money off of books that he wrote which make no sense at all.

Re:What a load of crap (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 4 months ago | (#47350387)

Or we could base policy on evidence rather than opinion polls. If this satellite proves that CO2 from industry really isn't a problem, then we can fire up the coal plants and carry on as normal.

If you want a "like" button, stop posting as anonymous coward, set up an account, and earn the right to handout moderator scores.

Other features included (0)

dawnsnow (8077) | about 4 months ago | (#47349585)

Remove first 'A' from NASA

Re:Other features included (1)

gtall (79522) | about 4 months ago | (#47350863)

Okay, I give up. What alleged point are you attempting to make?

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349599)

Why? The science is settled right? We know that manmade CO2 emissions are causing warming. We also know exactly how much the sea levels rise, and the effects of it.

So isn't this a waste of $468 million?

Re:Why? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#47349797)

We need to make the mountain of evidence bigger and bigger for you denialists.

I'll do it cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349727)

Most of CO2 emmissions come from China and India. There, saved you 467 million.

For all the anti-AGW people I've loved before: (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47349795)

Remember, sending up this satellite might just help us learn that AGW is not a problem, proving that you were right all along.

Don't be mad at Science. Someday, your incomplete in freshman physics will not matter any more.

Observer effect? (0)

tompaulco (629533) | about 4 months ago | (#47349861)

So we dump a bunch of carbon into the atmosphere getting a satellite up there and then measure the results. I'm not sure if this is a deliberate invocation of the Observer affect, or not. I would imagine trying to use the Observer effect to your observation works about the same as washing your car to make it rain.

Re:Observer effect? (1)

mean pun (717227) | about 4 months ago | (#47350203)

Do you really think that a single launch has a measurable impact on the CO2 levels on earth, or are you just grouching because it feels good to grouch?

Re:Observer effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350533)

Isn't it hydrogen fuel, creating water vapor? (cue the "water vapor is even worse!!" replies).

How did the Republicans let this one slip? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349871)

The obstructionist party somehow let something to study global warming got launched? What the fuck? Are they asleep?

Too busy obsessing over Benghazi and executing retards to notice?

Re:How did the Republicans let this one slip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350339)

Satire much?

How on earth did this get past the Senate? EVERY appropriations bill goes to the Senate and 99.999% of the die waiting because the Senate won't take them up. WHO controls the Senate? (FYI, there's a "D" after his name.. )

This is the dumbest project NASA has ever done (0)

dtjohnson (102237) | about 4 months ago | (#47350127)

This is a project that would only make sense to people who have no understanding of 1) how large and detailed the planet's surface is, and 2) how numerous and complex the sources of carbon dioxide are. These are people who think of carbon dioxide as a 'pollutant' to be eliminated rather than as an essential molecule for all life on the planet. In the landscape of their thought processes, they likely imagine that they are searching for hidden smokestacks from coal-burning power plants. It is absolutely unbelievable that this project got funded and shows the depths to which some scientific inquiry has sunk.

Contempt for Curiosity (4, Insightful)

Layzej (1976930) | about 4 months ago | (#47350663)

The contempt for curiosity held by one side of this conversation is alarming. You start by noting how numerous and complex the sources of carbon dioxide are but conclude that gathering data on this is pointless.

Re:Contempt for Curiosity (0)

CauseBy (3029989) | about 4 months ago | (#47350877)

I'm curious about the issue and I want the USA to look into it. But NASA? No. NASA's job is to put human beings on other worlds. NASA's job isn't to sniff CO2 in the air. We have other agencies to do that. If NASA can't do its actual job then it should cease to exist.

Re:Contempt for Curiosity (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 4 months ago | (#47350963)

Who should be developing and launching the satellites for our scientific endeavors if not NASA?

@ sinij..Does your opinion apply to NOAA and NASA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350159)

@sinij
"To science denialists above, I hope you apply equal skepticism to medicine and health and food safety aspects of scientific knowledge. This way your views will have self-correcting, instead of humanity-correcting impact."

So tell me, please, if your opinion applies equally to all, including NOAA and NASA who we now know are guilty of manipulating temp data since the 30's????

NOAA and NASA are now infamous.

mystery where most anthropengic CO2 goes (3, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | about 4 months ago | (#47350225)

Less than half what humans create in hydrocarbon buring and cement making stays in the atmosphere. The ocean is suspected as the major sink, as it turns into something like soda. A more active plant biopshere could be another sink.

Furthermore we dont know all the non-human sources. Is there a significant amount being released from melting permafrost marshes? Some onsite studies suggest the possibility. Volcanoes, melting sedimate methane hydrates too. This satellite could help constrain unkown sources and sinks.

The resuting data is likely to fuel both pro and anti AGW factions. A significant group prefers not to know whatis happening at all and blocked these kind of satellites in the 1990s and 2000s. I wish to know what is happening.

Have they looked in their own backyard? (0)

Panaflex (13191) | about 4 months ago | (#47350253)

What about the amount of pollutants released with the launch of this satellite? Solid rockets and hydrazine aren't exactly environmentally friendly when you burn a million pounds in 12 minutes. The production of H2 and LOX is pretty dirty also, even if the final product is water.

I may sound a little pedantic, but at least I'm not roaming the globe looking like Chuckles the CO2 clown...

Re:Have they looked in their own backyard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47350537)

Funny, was going to post the same thing.

I think in this case the "pollution" is OK as this allows them to measure "pollution" plus everyone loves a good rocket launch.

Re:Have they looked in their own backyard? (1)

gtall (79522) | about 4 months ago | (#47350907)

Scale, son. Science critically involves scale and a sense of it, something you lack.

Re:Have they looked in their own backyard? (1)

itzly (3699663) | about 4 months ago | (#47350961)

Well, what about it ? If you're trying to make it point, it would help if you could produce some cold hard facts about the launch, and compare them to other human activities such as driving kids to soccer clubs.

Ambivalent (1)

CauseBy (3029989) | about 4 months ago | (#47350865)

I'm glad the US government is doing something like this, but not with NASA. Our space agency needs to get this message: "Put humans on other worlds, or go home. If we want robots or science or satellites or anything else, we'll do that with another agency. For you, concentrate on putting living humans on other chunks of rock, and if you can't manage to do that once per decade then just pack up and save us the money."

The last time NASA did that was fifty years ago. In my space-exploration-loving opinion, NASA should have been disbanded in the late 1970s. Everything since then has been stupid.

"Hey, look, NASA built a space plane call the 'shuttle'! Wow! And they used it to go.... nowhere!"

"Hey, look, NASA built a little remote-controlled car and put it on Mars. Then after that they... well... they built two more and did the same thing... then after that they... uh.... well they built another one and did the same thing..."

"Hey, look, NASA built a satellite and pointed it at... earth..."

"Hey, look, NASA built a telescope and... took pictures of stars... again..."

None of that was worth it. Pack your bags, NASA, because you aren't hitting your numbers. You've been a failure since the Apollo days. Put humans on other worlds. Make it happen or go home, which to me means you need to go home.

*the* greenhouse gas! (1)

khb (266593) | about 4 months ago | (#47350985)

Given that methane is known to have a larger immediate effect one would have thought that a multimillion dollar mission would carry more than one instrument to nail down which of the many green house gases are having the most impact ... rather than assuming the models are right and that it's the CO2

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