Local eyes next era of climate research

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As world leaders in Copenhagen last week negotiated a global response to the threat of impending climate change, a different meeting of the minds was taking place in San Francisco.

As many as 15,000 of the world’s leading scientists in astrophysics, oceanography and Earth science convened at the American Geophysical Union conference in an attempt to better understand the scope of changing weather patterns and what it could mean for future generations.

Among them was JPL scientist and longtime La Cañada resident Moustafa Chahine.

He reported that NASA had recently completed a seven-year atmospheric survey of how carbon dioxide collects and is distributed across the planet. The data was collected by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument, a tool originally developed seven years ago to better predict weather patterns.

“A big task is to take the increase in CO2, which ends up warming the atmosphere, and learn how you can make predictions for our own climate 10, 20 or 50 years from now,” Chahine said. advertisement

Five years ago, when the instrument began measuring carbon dioxide levels trapped in the middle of the troposphere — the lowest layer of the atmosphere about three to seven miles above Earth — scientists were able to identify global sinks, where greenhouse gases are more likely to collect.

For more of this story, read here.

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Written by Times Community News

December 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Posted in la cañada

Tagged with , ,

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