GeoCarb and OCO-2 measuring carbon dioxide from space
This visualization shows the GeoCarb spacecraft orbiting the Earth and taking data. The visualization starts close to the Earth with the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) orbiting and taking carbon dioxide data shown as a thin trail underneath the spacecraft. These measurements are critical for our understanding of the climate. However, the OCO-2 swath is narrow and it takes a long time to cover a large region.
GeoCarb is a follow-on mission to OCO-2 which also measures carbon dioxide. However, GeoCarb's is in a geosynchronous orbit. This means that GeoCarb stays over the same location on the Earth, so it has a continuous view. GeoCarb orbits over North and South America. It is able to make scans of most of North and South America twice per day in the northern hemisphere summer. Geocarb has a resolution of 6km wide by 4km high; this means that each 'pixel' of GeoCarb data represents that area. Like OCO-2 GeoCarb can not make measurements at night.
In addition to carbon dioxide, GeoCarb also measures carbon monoxide, methane, and solar induced fluorescence. Each of these constituents provide additional, vital information for climate research.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 126.96.36.199.0