Article image

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Begins Year Two

NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Begins Year Two. Global average carbon dioxide concentrations as seen by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission, June 1-15, 2015. OCO-2 measures carbon dioxide from the top of Earth’s atmosphere to its surface. Higher carbon dioxide concentrations are in red, with lower concentrations in yellows and greens. Scientists poring over data from OCO-2 mission are seeing patterns emerge as they seek answers to questions about atmospheric carbon dioxide.

orbiting-carbon-observatory-2-global-carbon-levels_1big_nasaAmong the most striking features visible in the first year of OCO-2 data is the increase in carbon dioxide in the northern hemisphere during winter, when trees are not removing carbon dioxide, followed by its decrease in spring, as trees start to grow and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Begins Year Two.NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System, and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program, which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for uncrewed NASA launches.

OCO-2 is managed by JPL for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, Va., built the spacecraft and provides mission operations under JPL’s leadership. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

For more information on OCO-2, visit: and

View all Images

News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day