Climate scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center have created a visualization showing one year of carbon dioxide levels around the world. The visualization, created by a climate model running on a supercomputer, shows how the annual dynamics of carbon emissions are centered around major urban areas in North America, Europe, and Asia. During the summer, the colors start to fade as plants absorb larger quantities of carbon dioxide, while at the same time, fires in the southern hemisphere release carbon monoxide, an even more harmful chemical.
NASA hopes the scientific community will use the models that produced the visualization to simulate other particles’ movements around the globe. The visualization is based on data obtained by monitors on the ground, but in the future NASA’s OCO-2 climate monitoring satellite will augment the data set with more than 100,000 measurements each day.