Look at this very clear presentation given by David Crisp, principal investigator (PI) of the OCO-2 satellite mission, at the World Economic forum in 2015!
In only 30 mins, you can easily learn how satellites help us to “measure the Earth breathing”, why humans are the only responsible of the 40% increase of CO2 – Carbon dioxode in our atmosphere, and the main remaining unknown: i.e. how much does land surface absorb CO2 , now and in the next years, and where exactly does it go?
The key message here is “we can only manage what we can measure”.
Studying atmospheric CO2 – Carbon dioxode from space is a very big challenge. The American OCO-2 satellite instrument, inspired in parts and pieces by the Hubble space telescope, is the first space-based measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide with the precision, resolution and coverage needed to characterize its sources and sinks and quantify their variability over the seasonal cycle. It is designed to measure the near-infrared absorption of reflected sunlight by carbon dioxide and molecular oxygen.