Earth’s land and ocean currently absorb about half of all carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, but it’s uncertain whether the planet can keep this up in the future. NASA’s Earth science program works to improve our understanding of how carbon absorption and emission processes work in nature and how they could change in a warming world with increasing levels of carbon dioxide and methane emissions from human activities. Later this month, the United Nations climate meeting in Paris (Conference of Parties, aka COP-21) will focus on setting limits on future levels of human-produced carbon emissions.
NASA hosted a media teleconference at noon EST on Thursday, Nov. 12, to discuss the latest insights into how Earth is responding to rising levels of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, and what this means for our future climate.
This video features George Hurtt, lead for NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System, and professor at University of Maryland, discussing the key points he delivered on the telecon.