2015-02-12: Section Dinner Meeting with Dr. David Crisp at PCC

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February Dinner Meeting

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pasadena City College
Creveling Lounge

1570 E Colorado Blvd.,
Pasadena, CA 91106

Measuring Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide from Space – NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)

David Crisp, Sr. Research Scientist
Jet Propulsion Laboratory/
California Institute of Technology

6:00 p.m. check-in
7:00 p.m. dinner
8:00 p.m. Presentation

Abstract: Fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, and other human activities are now adding almost 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere each year. Interestingly, less than half of this CO2 stays airborne. The rest is apparently being absorbed by natural processes at the surface, whose identity and location are poorly understood. Ground-based CO2 measurements accurately record the global atmospheric CO2 budget and its trends but do not have the resolution or coverage needed to identify the “sources” emitting CO2 into the atmosphere or the natural “sinks” absorbing this gas. One way to improve the resolution and coverage of these measurements is to collect precise observations of CO2 from an orbiting satellite. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory – 2 (OCO-2) is NASA’s first satellite designed to measure atmospheric CO2 with the accuracy, resolution, and coverage needed to identify its sources and sinks. OCO-2 was successfully launched on July 2, 2014. In early August, its instrument began recording more than 100,000 CO2 measurements over Earth’s sunlit hemisphere each day. Over the next two years, these measurements are expected to revolutionize our understanding of the processes controlling the atmospheric CO2 buildup. This talk will describe the OCO-2 mission, summarize its measurement approach, and present some of its earliest results.

Biography: Dr. David Crisp is an atmospheric physicist at the California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Since receiving his Ph.D. from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program at Princeton University in 1984, his basic research has focused primarily on the development of radiative transfer methods for remote sensing algorithms and climate models of Venus, Earth, Mars, and more recently, a few exoplanets. Dr. Crisp has served as an instrument provider and science team member for several NASA missions and was the Chief Scientist of the New Millennium Program, NASA’s space flight technology program from 1997 to 2001. More recently, he was the Principal Investigator of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) mission, NASA’s first mission designed specifically to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide. Dr. Crisp is currently the leader of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) Science Team.

Reservations: The dinner is Cheese Ravioli with Pesto-Alfredo cream sauce, fresh rolls, Strawberry Walnut Salad and dessert. The cost is $25. Please RSVP to Nancy Paradiso at office-at-scalacs.org or 310 327-1216 by Monday, February 9th. The presentation is open to everyone for free at 8:00.

Directions & Parking: Please visit http://www.pasadena.edu/maps/ for directions and a map of the campus. Parking is $2 in Lot Numbers 3 or 4.