Press Release

NASA Selects Proposals to Study Global Carbon Cycling

By SpaceRef Editor
August 4, 2004
Filed under , ,
NASA Selects Proposals to Study Global Carbon Cycling
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NASA, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture
and Department of Energy, recently awarded 59 research grants
to study changes in the distribution and cycling of carbon
among land, ocean, and atmospheric reservoirs, with emphasis
on North America. These new research activities are funded as
part of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP).

“NASA is very proud of this tremendous opportunity for
interagency cooperation to help improve and protect our home
planet,” said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, Deputy Associate
Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “Carbon
is a fundamental building block for life on Earth and we need
to better understand how Earth’s living system cycles this
essential element,” he added.

The global carbon cycle affects Earth’s climate. Of special
interest are factors that control changes in atmospheric
carbon dioxide and methane concentrations, as well as the
effectiveness of carbon management meant to mitigate increases
in these greenhouse gases. Within the CCSP, the North American
Carbon Program (NACP) focuses on continental carbon dynamics
of special U.S. interest. NACP investigators are endeavoring
to close the carbon budget with respect to sources, sinks, and
observed changes in atmospheric carbon over North America and
adjacent oceans.

“I am delighted to see this solid collaboration among
agencies, with NASA’s lead, supporting new research that
conforms so well to the goals and priorities of CCSP,” said
Dr. James R. Mahoney, Director of the CCSP. “The North
American Carbon Program research is an important step forward
in reducing the major uncertainties about global climate
change that are the focus of the Administration’s Climate
Change Research Initiative,” he added.

While emphasizing North America, the selected projects will
also model and analyze the global carbon cycle and its control
of atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane. Regionally focused
projects will work to reduce major uncertainties about carbon
cycle dynamics outside of North America where NASA’s unique
observations provide data about remote areas of the Earth.

The 59 proposals selected will receive approximately $14
million a year over a three-year period. The grants will go to
researchers at universities, government laboratories, and
other organizations that will investigate virtually every
aspect of the contemporary carbon cycle. NASA received 301
proposals in response to the research announcement of April
2004.

For a complete listing of the research projects selected and
their principal investigators on the Internet, visit:

http://research.hq.nasa.gov

For information about the CCSP on the Internet, visit:

http://www.climatescience.gov/

SpaceRef staff editor.