Research and Application News
UNH researchers shine a light on more accurate ways to estimate climate change
05 June 2018
It doesn't matter if it's a forest, a soybean field, or a prairie, all plants take up carbon dioxide during photosynthesis – the process where they use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into food. During this changeover, the plants emit an energy "glow" that is not visible to the human eye, but can be detected by satellites in space.
Now, researchers at the University of New Hampshire have taken that one step further. By using satellite data from different major land-based ecosystems around the globe, they have found that the photosynthesis glow is the same across all vegetation, no matter the location. This first-of-its-kind global analysis could have significance in providing more accurate data for scientists working to model carbon cycle and eventually help better project climate change.
Source: The University of New Hampshire
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech - Artist rendering of OCO-2 Observatory used in the UNH research