Broadcast 2591

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Guest: Dr. David Crisp. Topics: NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2), Earth's CO2 environment and more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed Dr. David Crisp to the show to discuss the NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2(OCO-2) satellite. During the first segment of our 94 minute program, Dr. Crisp started out by presenting a short overview of the OCO satellites, the first two of which did not make it to orbit due to fairing failure after their Vandenberg launch. For the third attempt, NASA switched rockets to the Delta 2 and the satellite made it to orbit without a problem. Dr. Crisp then explained how OCO-2 works, how it detects and measures CO2 in the atmosphere from the ground up. He explained the color intensity and why the information is so accurate. I asked him to compare OCO-2 data with climate models. Here, Dr. Crisp stressed the fact that he was not a climate scientist or policy maker. That said, he did compare and contrast OCO-2 data with climate models to the degree reasonable comparisons can be made. We talked about natural sources of CO2 on earth, both land and water (ocean, rivers, and lakes), as compared to manmade sources of CO2. Dr. Crisp explained the emitting and absorption capabilities from the natural CO2 sources, photosynthesis with plants, and the fact that manmade CO2 is only emitted, not absorbed. This CO2 can stay in the atmosphere for a thousand years or so. He talked about the total parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere, how it has gone down and now is going up over the years and the amount of human created CO2 in the atmosphere and how that has increased over the years. Listeners asked about methane but OCO-2 was not designed to detect methane. He was also asked about water vapor. Dr. Crisp explained that water vapor in the atmosphere was detected and measured by other satellites, particularly weather satellites so it was not part of this genre of satellites. Jack emailed in a question to point out that a pause was going on for the past 19 years or so and the planet was not cooling despite human CO2 increases. Dr. Crisp offered an explanation for the pause so don't miss it. Jane from Seattle brought up the fact that warming and cooling on Earth has been going on since the beginning of time, without human produced C02. She asked how this could be given the conclusions many make regarding the increase in human produced CO2 levels for today causing global warming. Don't miss how Dr. Crisp responded to Jane. Dr. Crisp also talked about solar warming and cooling cycles and said we are currently in a solar cooling cycle. Randy emailed in a question about the draught in California and its relationship to CO2 increases. In the second segment, Becky in Las Vegas sent in a note asking about the climate and atmosphere on Venus and Mars given our guest has studied both planets. She was looking for a common link with Earth or maybe a common trend. Dr. Crisp had much to say about both Venus and Mars. Later in the discussion, I asked if humans were on Venus with advanced technology, could they have intervened in the global warming process and mitigated the impact of it. He said he doubted it, explained why and then the same question was asked about Mars though the situation on Mars was and is different than on Venus. For the most part, Venus was too close to the sun to do anything about it and Mars was too far to do anything about the Martian problems. This is why Earth is in the Goldilocks zone and why we search for exoplanets in this zone. Later, Dr. Crisp talked about today having the highest CO2 levels ever and the growing Earth population which is around 7.2 billion people having nearly doubled over the last 45-50 years. This led us to a discussion about energy, including coal, natural gas & nuclear power. He had some surprising comments about China and coal, don't miss them. We also talked about India and its use of coal, then Dr. Crisp talk about the need to be able to store power, use solar and wind power, and to enlarge the grid to take wind or solar from areas where it was strong to be able to ship to areas that needed it. He also talked about the need to improve energy storage. Near the end of the program, I asked about any surprises discovered from the OCO-2 data. We then talked about how long OCO-2 would last and here, we talked about the design as a demo satellite without redundant or backup systems. A listener asked if cubesats could do such an OCO-2 type mission. Don't miss his answer but the simple one was no because the technology for doing this requires hardware that is considerably larger than could be used by a cubesat. Before the show ended, we talked about the NASA Earth Science Budget, the cost per taxpayer, and our ability to freely download OCO-2 data off their website. He then identified the largest user and downloader of the data. I bet you will be surprised by what he said. NASA was the second largest downloader of the data. Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. You can reach Dr. Crisp through me or through a JPL search for his name and information.



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23 Nov 2015 Dr. David Crisp
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