I would not say that NASA is trying to prove that Global Warming is real. I would say that they collect observations mostly using remote sensing via satellite; those are then analyzed by scientists and published.
One very interesting set of observations comes from the GRACE satellites, which measure gravity changes from space. NASA scientists have shown that Green and Antarctic Ice Sheets are losing ice, and even been able to show exactly how much ice they are losing and where they are losing it. Using this system they have also observed that northern India is using up its groundwater at an alarming rate, and that the central valley of California is subsiding.
NASA also tried to put a satellite up that would measure point sources of carbon dioxide, but it crashed in the ocean when the part of the booster failed to separate properly.
Already, NASA is measuring a variety of parameters such as temperature, chlorophyll, salinity, etc.
Right now they are working on a project to figure out how you can determine plant species cover from looking at the color of satelite pictures – with information scientists would be able to talk about how the ranges of certain species are shifting as the climate changes.
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