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Sensing Our Planet: California Carbon

Power plant near Seal Beach in Rossmoor, CA

A full moon illuminates this power plant near Seal Beach in Rossmoor, California, not far from Los Angeles. (Courtesy alkhodarev/Flickr)

Data from NASA's Carbon Monitoring System, archived at ORNL DAAC, is featured in the 2017 issue of Sensing Our Planet. The full article is available on NASA's Earthdata website at Carbon Control.

On a hilly peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, 5000 miles of pipeline zigzag over Richmond, California. The Chevron Richmond Refinery, established in 1902, is one of five refineries in the East Bay region, coined “refinery corridor,” where industrial grids dominate and stacks disrupt the horizon. Air quality has been an issue here for over a century, but recently the invisible ingredients—the health-damaging pollutants and warming greenhouse gases—are of major concern in the backdrop of climate change.

California’s 2016 bill is intended to give lawmakers more oversight of the state’s Air Resources Board with a goal of reducing 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. As Nick Parazoo, a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory put it, “There is no easy way of verifying whether that is going to happen or not.” To help lawmakers know if targets have been met, a group of scientists led by Heather Graven at Imperial College in London, created a simulation, or a theoretical case study, to see how best to increase confidence in greenhouse gas emission measurements.

To continue reading this feature article by Agnieszka Gautier on NASA's Earthdata website, see Carbon Control.

Data referenced in the article is available from the ORNL DAAC at:
Fischer, M.L., N.C. Parazoo, K. Brophy, X. Cui, S. Jeong, J. Liu, R. Keeling, T.E. Taylor, K.R. Gurney, T. Oda, and H. Graven. 2017. CMS: CO2 Signals Estimated for Fossil Fuel Emissions and Biosphere Flux, California. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.