The international talks in Paris (COP21) seem to be all about carbon - how much there is in the atmosphere, the ocean, the plants, the permafrost and fossil fuels. How much carbon is moving, where, when, what can we do to alter the amount being released by human activity, how much do we need to reduce, etc. So, it seems an appropriate time to post a list of resources about carbon!
Here are a number of NASA resources on carbon, including short and long articles, short and long videos, visualizations and graphics. All are free, but please credit NASA if you share or use in your products/programs.
Feature Articles About Carbon
As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue their rapid, man-made rise, NASA scientists and others are confronted with important questions: How long can this balancing act continue? And if forests, other vegetation and the ocean cannot continue to absorb as much or more of our carbon emissions, what does that mean for the pace of climate change in the coming century? This article explores this line of research and includes several downloadable visualizations.
- Seven Case Studies in Carbon and Climate
- Seeing Forests for the Trees and the Carbon
- Carbon Content of Forests Overestimated
- Feature: The Carbon Cycle
- Carbon Emissions and Drought
- Carbon Dioxide Controls Earth’s Thermostat
Multimedia and Interactives
- ClimateBits: Carbon Dioxide (3 min) A nice explanation of the reason why carbon matters, stepping through seasonal and annual changes in atmospheric CO2 , consequences of added CO2 and actions people can take. Illustrated with visuals of the global greening and browning overlaid with the data from Mauna Loa.
- Fast and Slow Carbon – Banana vs. Coal (aka Carbon Crisis in 90 Sec.) A short, clear explanation of the carbon cycle, why it is out of balance, and why that matters.
- A Breathing Planet, Off Balance Video (3 min) A video that accompanies the article listed above.
Graphics and Visualizations
- Graphic: Relentless Rise of CO2
- Graphic: Here’s what “disagreement” looks like
- Graphic: CO2 Record high – just like the Pliocene
- Infographic: "A Breathing Planet, Off Balance"
- Blinking Carbon Dioxide Graph continuously updated graph of global atmospheric CO2 in ppm, with red blinking dot at current CO2 level
- Carbon and Climate Visualizations Gallery
Scientist Interviews, Panels, and Discussions
Carbon and Climate Press Briefing (1hr) A panel presentation by NASA climate scientists, including a series of visualizations, followed by Q&A with the new media.
Interview clips of scientists (30 sec to 3 min each) Broadcast quality interview clips with scientists from NASA's Carbon and Climate press briefing panel.
Carbon and Climate Discussion at Maryland Science Center (1hr 22min) An interactive discussion featuring carbon scientists from NASA: Emily Wilson (atmospheric carbon), Jeremy Werdell (ocean ecology), Peter Griffith (land ecology) and NOAA scientist Dwight Gledhill (ocean acidification). Convened and moderated by Stephanie Schollaert Uz (GST/NASA) at the Maryland Science center in Baltimore. Scientists presented a broad overview of their area of expertise on Science On a Sphere and answered questions posed by the live and online audiences.
"We're NASA scientists studying the role of carbon in our planet's climate. Ask us anything!" See how the scientists in this archived Reddit Ask Me anything session addressed questions from the public about climate. Some really interesting questions and answers are posted!
NASA's Earth Now App A free app you can use on mobile devices, to view stunning visualizations of climate change data from NASA's Earth satellites on a 3-D model of Earth that can be rotated and manipulated for an all-encompassing view of our world's vital stats. Choose from extensive visual data maps including sea level, ozone, carbon dioxide and water vapor to monitor and study climate patterns across the planet.
NASA Social Media on Climate Change
Lessons and Activities
- Climate Change Lessons for Educators
- Climate Change Activities for Students
- Carbon Cycle Lessons for Middle School
- Carbon Cycle Lessons for High School
Facts and Figures
- NASA Earth Missions An annotated list of NASA missions that contribute to our studies of Earth’s climate