Carbon cyclist


  • Randy Showstack


A satellite launched in early August as part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth could dramatically increase understanding of how carbon cycles through the Earth's biosphere and living organisms and how this process influences global climate. The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) will measure the color of the oceans with a radiometer to determine the concentration of chlorophyll found in oceanic phytoplankton. The single-celled plants, at the base of food chains around the world, remove carbon dioxide from seawater through photosynthesis, which allows oceans to absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.