Most often when you think about NASA, you normally consider the images of Mars and photographs of space stations. But, the space agency is also working on some major project of climate research. One of those major projects is the CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol LIdar with Orthogonal Polarization) by involving the CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar & Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation) satellite. It measures levels of plankton through clouds. In the past, NASA had the ability to measure levels of plankton using satellites after observing the reflection of the sun on the ocean. Now, the Lidar-based system doesn’t depend only on light sources to find out the amount of sea plants, in spite of the ability to see vegetation day or night and through light clouds.
The CALIOP has been considered a theme changer in our thoughts regarding remote observation of ocean from space. A research scientist Chris Hostetler Langley said that we were just able to study on the working of High-latitude ecosystem of ocean in the past and we think that we were entirely blind. Since 2006, the researchers have the ability to study diversifications in plankton using CALIOP. The marine plankton expert at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Michael Behrenfeld said that it is important that if we need to understand the biological food web and production of the polar system entirely, then we should focus on both changes, including changes in ice cover and changes in the ecosystems that organize this gentle balance between prey and predators.