Posts Tagged ‘carbon dioxide’

3 April

Why Is OCO-2 Helpful With Managing Atmospheric CO2 ?


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

Remember, the goal of Sun Is The Future is: to speed up our earthly transition toward Solar/Renewable Energy Age because we want to help reduce CO2 emission, reduce pollution, solve energy problem, reduce the chance of international conflicts, and improve local economy by encouraging job opportunities in solar/renewable energy industries.  We work toward our goal by:

  1. sharing information (,,,,,, @SusanSunNunamak)
  2. helping entrepreneurs to establish small businesses in solar energy/renewable energy/energy efficiency/recycling via microfinance (
  3. raising fund to achieve 2. & 1. above via Sunshine Online Store (

For this post, we will be concentrating on one aspect of CO2 emission. Keep in mind that we can only manage what we can measure!

OCO-2 (Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2), set to launch in July, 2014 (credit: NASA/JPL Caltech, design will also be available at

Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, set to launch in July 2014, will make precise, global measurements of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that is the largest human-generated contributor to global warming. OCO-2 observations will be used to improve understanding of the natural and human-induced sources of carbon dioxide and how these emissions cycle through Earth’s oceans, land and atmosphere. OCO-2, managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on a Delta II rocket.

Yes, those are solar panels that you are seeing in the image above (and below). As a matter of fact, most of the space vehicles are powered by solar panels!

NASA's OCO-2 (credit: NASA/JPL Caltech, design also will be available at

OCO-2 in space (credit: NASA/JPL Caltech, design will also be available at










Why does NASA want to launch OCO-2 to take measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) from space? Due to our concern for climate change and the fact that we can only manage what we can measure. This is NASA’s first satellite designed specifically to measure the global distribution of atmospheric CO2 from space. This is done by measuring the sunlight bouncing off of earth’s surface. On its way through the atmosphere, this sunlight interacts with CO2 molecules in the air. Like other gases, CO2 only absorbs certain colors of light. OCO-2 is only tuned to look at these specific colors. By measuring amount of lights that are missing in each, amount of CO2 molecules that got in the way will be measured. As OCO-2 orbits around the earth each day, hundreds of thousands of CO2 measurements will be made. Such high density of measurements will provide us with far more information in how and where CO2 is traded between sources and sinks. Variations due to seasonal changes will also be more likely to be captured through data collected over weeks and months, helping us in arriving at better understanding of climate change. Take a look at the video below:


~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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3 July

Evidence of Climate Change & How to Slow It Down


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)


Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 167 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!

As a result of our post on June 20, 2013 featuring the award-winning film Chasing Ice and the fact that the recent American Southwest has been boiling at triple-digit temperature for multiple consecutive days, smothering the region. In Death Valley, California, temperature reached a record high of 134 degrees Fahrenheit (57 degrees Celsius) on July 10, 2013. Fifty-six countries have set new temperature record, according to BBC report on July 3, 2013. I’ve been getting many questions such as: “what’s behind the heat wave” and “Is global warming a factor?” “Will we be seeing more droughts and floods?” To answer your questions satisfactorily, allow me to present to you:

  1. NASA Earth Observatory’s data. The world is getting warmer, be it due to human activity or natural variability . Thermometer reading around the world have risen steadily since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8°Celsius (1.4°Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade. Please click on this link to step through the decades.
  2. Series of 8 videos/movies by NASA Earthobservatory on Global Warming, below:

a. Global Warning: An Introduction ( The Earth’s average temperature rose by more than half a degree Celsius over the last century. What caused this change?). Read more about Global Warming at:

b. Radiation from the Sun and Earth ( the Sun and Earth both emit electromagnetic radiation. This movie will help you describe the differences between the types of radiation emitted by the sun and the earth.)

c. The Earth’s Energy Balance (Earth’s energy balance will enable you to understand radiative equilibrium. You will also be able to recognize that the temperature of earth depends on the amount of solar energy that it absorbs.). Read more about Earth’s Energy Budget at:

d. The Greenhouse Effect (The temperature of earth has been relatively constant over time. This is possible because as the planet absorbs solar radiation, it also emits longwave radiation into space. Despite this radiative equilibrium, some longwave radiation remains trapped beneath the atmosphere of the earth and warms the surface of the earth. This phenomenon is called the “greenhouse effect.”)

e. Human Activities and Carbon Dioxide (Shortwave radiation emitted by the sun and longwave radiation emitted by carbon dioxide and water vapor contribute to the heating of the Earth’s surface. Over the past 120 years, scientists have observed that the Earth’s average global surface temperature has increased. At the same time, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has also increased. Take a closer look at how these changes may have occurred.)

f. Modern Atmospheric Concentrations of Carbon Dioxide (The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing. This movie will help you describe how the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has changed over the last 100 years.)

g. Modern Global Temperature (Earth’s average global temperature changes over long periods of time. Past data records indicate that the global annual temperature of earth has increased throughout this century.)

This global annual temperature rise of approximately 1 degree Celsius since 1880’s will have severe impact on  local and regional weather conditions.

h. Computer Climate Models (Scientists use computer climate models, with mathematical equations, to help them understand how temperature in different regions of the world may change as carbon dioxide increases.) Such climate models enable scientists to make predictions/estimations about how the climate may change in the future.


If we want to slow down the impact of climate change described above, to slow down the CO2 emissions into earth’s atmosphere and reduce the extreme weather conditions (such as increased droughts, hurricanes, and floods),we need to GO SOLAR Quickly! At Sun Is The Future, we take action by having launched the petition for Solar-FIT For Sunshine State and sharing information on how to Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm. Please participate and share these links/sites with others. This is not a partisan issue. It is a Necessary Earthly Movement!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any of your comments or suggestions will be welcomed at comments area below or via (be sure to note if you do not want your email to be shared).


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12 November


Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Do you remember our Oct. 30, 2012 post, toward the end of the post there were photos of Time Square Connect The Dots Action “End Climate Silence” by 350.0rg ?  The more I’ve looked into, the greater I felt that it resonated well with what Sun Is The Future is trying to accomplish.  Our goals are quite compatible with one another;promotion of use of solar energy would ultimately help to reduce the CO2 emission in the atmosphere.  Allow me to share what’s been stated in wikipedia about, below: is an international environmental organization, headed by author Bill McKibben, with the goal of building a global grassroots movement to raise awareness of anthropogenic climate change, to confront climate change denial, and to cut emissions of one of the greenhouse gasescarbon dioxide, in order to slow the rate of global warming. takes its name from the research of NASA scientist James E. Hansen, who posited in a 2007 paper that 350 parts-per-million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere is a safe upper limit to avoid a climate tipping point.

The organization was founded by author Bill McKibben, an American environmentalist  and writer who frequently writes about global warming, alternative energy, and the need for more localized economies. McKibben promotes the organisation, for instance by writing articles about it for many major newspapers and media, such as the Los Angeles Times and The Guardian.

The organising effort drew its name from climate scientist James Hansen‘s contention in winter 2008 that any atmospheric concentration of CO2 above 350 parts per million was unsafe. James Hansen opined that “if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm, but likely less than that.” Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, rose by 2.3 parts per million to 389 ppm in 2010 from the previous year, and continued to increase with January 2012 atmospheric CO2 concentration at 393.09 and crossed 400 ppm on monitors in May 2012 in the industrialized Northern Hemisphere’s Arctic region.

McKibben first started to organize against global warming with a walk across Vermont, his home state.  His “Step It Up” campaign in 2007 involved 1,400 demonstrations at famous sites across the United States. McKibben credits these activities with making Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama change their energy policies during the presidential campaign. Later, the continued melting of the polar cap pushed him into starting, based on Hansen’s 2007 book Climate Code Red.

Rajendra Pachauri, the U.N.‘s “top climate scientist” and leader of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has come out in favor of reducing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide to 350 ppm. McKibben called news of Pachauri’s embrace of the 350 ppm target “amazing”. Some media have indicated that Pachauri’s endorsement of the 350 ppm target was a victory for’s activism.

The organisation had a lift in prominence after founder McKibben appeared on The Colbert Report television show on Monday August 17, 2009. The organisation disseminates its message through social networking sites such as FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.  In 2012 the organization was presented with the 2012 Katerva Award for Behavioural Change.

The 350 movement is treating the 350ppm cap as a rallying cry for a 2009 COP15 international treaty. 350 member Alec Appelbaum stated that “We need global compacts to enforce carbon caps, because emissions change the climate whether or not they come from regulated sources. But we also need ingenious businesses to make those caps meaningful. That’s true because no matter how severely we warp the climate, we have to go on living.” The overall goal is to influence governments to adopt policies that would lower carbon dioxide emissions.

Below is the press release (on Nov. 6, 2012) for  an upcoming event of,

Environmentalists Announce New Keystone XL Demonstration at the White House on November 18, 2012

Oakland — In the wake of President Barack Obama’s re-election, environmentalists today called for a demonstration outside the White House on Nov. 18 to show the president that he has their support if he denies the permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The demonstration will follow’s “Do the Math” event at the Warner Theatre and will feature thousands of activists, a 500-foot pipeline, and several speakers–including Bill McKibben, who led the Keystone XL protests last summer in which 1,252 people were arrested.

The full letter is below.

CONTACT: Daniel Kessler,,             510-501-1779      ,

Dear friends—

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as the warmest year in American history draws to a close, as the disastrous drought lingers on in the Midwest, everyone is looking for ways to make a real difference in the fight to slow climate change. We’d like to ask you to come once more to Washington, to resume the battle to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, mid-afternoon on Nov. 18th.

This summer President Obama took the biggest step of any president to date when he raised fuel efficiency standards — a move that will cut US greenhouse gas emissions by 10% when fully implemented. Many of you worked to make this happen. Thank you. It’s an important step in the right direction. Let’s take a few more.

As you’ll recall, your efforts last year slowed down the decision, giving the State Department more time to consider the impacts of a dangerous export pipeline that will transport one of the world’s dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fuels. Although they did go ahead with the southern segment, where many of our colleagues are waging a remarkable fight against its construction. But now that the election is over a decision by the President is imminent—the administration has hinted a decision could come in the first quarter of 2013.

Here’s what’s changed since last year: the Arctic has melted disastrously.

Here’s what hasn’t changed: Keystone XL is still a crazy idea, a giant straw into the second biggest pool of carbon. Even if it doesn’t spill, it would add 900,000 barrels of oil worth of carbon each day to the earth’s atmosphere, or as much as the new auto efficiency regulations would save. It would, in other words, cancel out the whole long fight to increase auto mileage. Those tar sands are still the dirtiest energy on the planet.

And more and more people are realizing it. Our brothers and sisters in Canada have effectively blocked the so-called Gateway Pipeline to Canada’s west coast. It won’t be built anytime soon, depriving the administration of their only halfway decent argument—that the oil would just go somewhere else. No, Barack Obama is now even more the man who holds the fate of the tar sands expansion in his hands.

No one needs to get arrested this time—though that may come as the winter wears on. For now we simply need to let the President know we haven’t forgotten, and that our conviction hasn’t cooled. Please be there if you possibly can.

Many thanks,

Michael Brune, Sierra Club
Naomi Klein, author
James Hansen, NASA
Tzeporah Berman, author
Jane Kleeb, BOLD Nebraska
Michael Kieschnick, Credo Mobile
Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network
Gus Speth, author and professor of law, Vermont Law School
Maura Cowley, Energy Action Coalition
Rebecca Tarbotton, Rainforest Action Network
Joe Uehlein, Labor Network for Sustainability
Mike Tidwell, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Michael Mann, Penn State University Earth System Science Center
Bill McKibben and May Boeve,
Stephen Kretzmann, Oil Change International
Bridge the Gulf Project
Tar Sands Blockade

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, more editorial comments about this in the next post. Any of your comments/suggestions will be welcomed at


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