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ASCENDS 2008 Workshop




ASCENDS Workshop

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WELCOME to the ASCENDS Workshop

Held July 23-25, 2008
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

In its Decadal Survey Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, the National Research Council of the U.S. National Academies recommended a mission to produce global atmospheric column CO2 measurements without seasonal, latitudinal, or diurnal bias using simultaneous laser remote sensing of CO2 and O2.

The goal of an Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days, and Seasons (ASCENDS) mission is to enhance understanding of the role of CO2 in the global carbon cycle with three science objectives: ASCENDS diagram

  1. Quantify global spatial distributions of atmospheric CO2 on scales of weather models in the 2010-2020 era;
  2. Quantify current global spatial distribution of terrestrial and oceanic sources and sinks of CO2 on 1° x 1° grids at weekly resolution; and
  3. Provide a scientific basis for future projections of CO2 sources and sinks through data-driven enhancements of Earth system process modeling.

 NASA convened a community workshop July 23-25, 2008 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan to refine the ASCENDS mission, particularly in terms of its scientific goals, objectives, and requirements.
The goals of this science definition and planning workshop were:

  • Discuss and refine the science goals for active CO2 measurements from space,
  • Discuss the merits and limitations of potential measurement strategies to achieve these science goals,
  • Define and refine the links between the open science questions and the measurement requirements,
  • Identify requirements for technological development to insure mission success, 
  • Identify and prioritize science requirements, summarize open questions, and recommend further studies needed to further the readiness of the ASCENDS mission. 

Workshop proceedings and findings have been summarized in a report outlining the state of the science and technology for active sensing of CO2 and recommendations for further studies and planning to ready ASCENDS for Phase A mission planning and development.

We designated key individuals to present focused oral talks to set the tone for the meeting. Sessions were designed for more in depth discussion of the science and technical details of such a mission, as well as posters displayed from individuals wanting to have detailed information available to the workshop participants.


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