Following Carbon Dioxide Through the Atmosphere

Carbon dioxide plays a significant role in trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. The gas is released from human activities like burning fossil fuels, and the concentration of carbon dioxide moves and changes through the seasons.

Using observations from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) satellite, scientists developed a model of the behavior of carbon in the atmosphere from Sept. 1, 2014, to Aug. 31, 2015.

Scientists can use models like this one to better understand and predict where concentrations of carbon dioxide could be especially high or low, based on activity on the ground.

Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Kathryn Mersmann & Matthew Radcliff

Music: “Life Cycles” by Theo Golding [PRS]

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