Congress allocated additional funding for continued research and development of a carbon monitoring system in 2012 due to the increased focus on climate change and carbon in recent years. In early October, the University of Maryland’s Council on the Environment member and Geographical Sciences Director of Research and Professor, George Hurtt, was named Science Team Leader for NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS). Hurtt says, “If society wants to slow the rate of climate change, it must find a way to slow the rate of carbon being added to atmosphere.”
NASA selected 17 of 62 proposals to fund for the carbon monitoring system. The CMS Science Team was then established to be responsible for providing broad research community involvement in the development and evaluation of NASA CMS products; coordinating their NASA-funded CMS activities to ensure maximum returns for science, management, and policy; and providing scientific, technical, and policy-relevant inputs to help set priorities and directions for future NASA CMS activities. As the project’s Science Team Leader, Hurtt is responsible for providing scientific leadership and direction to the Team, as well as scientific input to NASA management.
The University of Maryland has a long history of collaboration with NASA, which is something that students can learn and benefit from. Hurtt explains how NASA uses remote sensing to monitor planetary changes at high resolution and over global scales. “This will be an essential capability of future carbon monitoring systems. Hurtt believes that this phase of development is “critical and will pave the way for improved tools and approaches to tackle the complexity of carbon monitoring ahead.”
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September 4, 2012