OCO-2 Early Glint Retrievals Over Water

  • Released Monday, May 18, 2015
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Launched on July 2, 2014, the second Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) is the first NASA Earth-observing satellite designed to study atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from space. Measurements from OCO-2 will be used to find the human and natural sources that are emitting CO2 into the atmosphere and the natural sinks that are absorbing this gas at the Earth’s surface.

This pair of images compares preliminary estimates of column-averaged volume mixing ratios of carbon dioxide, or XCO2, from OCO-2 glint observations over the ocean to those generated by the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System Model, Version 5 (GEOS-5). The large scale features are quite similar, but there are subtle differences that are being studied to determine whether they indicate biases in these early OCO-2 XCO2 estimates or limitations of the model. Over time, these comparisons are expected to substantially improve the accuracy and reliability of both the measurements and the models.

XCO2 estimates from OCO-2 glint retrievals

XCO2 estimates from OCO-2 glint retrievals

XCO2 estimates from GSFC GMAO GEOS-5 model

XCO2 estimates from GSFC GMAO GEOS-5 model

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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

  • Animator

    • Amy Moran (Global Science and Technology, Inc.)

Release date

This page was originally published on Monday, May 18, 2015.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 12:27 AM EST.


This visualization is related to the following missions: