This psychedelic NASA video shows how CO2 spreads in the atmosphere

NASA used satellite measurements of carbon dioxide to create a startling new 3D video that shows how the greenhouse gas moves through Earth’s atmosphere. In a little over a minute, you can see CO2 concentrations swirling around, up into the sky, and engulfing the Northern Hemisphere.

The data comes from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite, which was launched in 2014 to measure atmospheric CO2 at the regional scale. The observations — which cover one year, from September 2014 to September 2015 — were then combined with a high-resolution weather model to give an unprecedented 3D view.

Carbon dioxide, which is produced in high quantities by the burning of fossil fuels for energy, is rapidly warming up our planet. Scientists know that about 50 percent of human-made emissions stay in the atmosphere, about 25 percent is absorbed by the ocean, and the remaining 25 percent is absorbed by land vegetation. What they’re still trying to figure out is things like which ecosystems absorb what amount of CO2, according to NASA.

By showing how CO2 moves around, this new 3D visualization could help climate scientists answer some of those questions. "We are trying to build the tools needed to provide an accurate picture of what's happening in the atmosphere and translating that to an accurate picture of what's going on with the flux,” Lesley Ott, a carbon cycle scientist at NASA Goddard, said in a statement. “There's still a long way to go, but this is a really important and necessary step in that chain of discoveries about carbon dioxide."

So take a look at how CO2 moved around above your head throughout the year, and how mountain ranges and ocean currents influenced the movement of carbon dioxide throughout the globe. It’s trippy, isn’t it?

Comments

Yet there are still many Americans who believe that humans can’t alter the earth’s atmosphere in any meaningful way.

I wonder if their retort to this satellite data and visualization will be that the Northern Hemisphere naturally produces more CO2 than the southern hemisphere?

Many Americans… I know that since the sun is quiet right now its going to be colder than normal. That’s science.

The majority of Americans believe that general pollution is bad. What they don’t believe in is that America is the greatest contributor to this.

Pollution regulations are focused on bringing down America’s economy verses other less developed nations. China, Russia, India and other countries do more harm to the environment by not doing basic pollution control that America has been doing for a while. So instead of blaming America, why don’t you blame the countries that don’t do the basics?

I live in a duplex that I lowered the BTU input by 90%, walk to work and the energy I use mostly comes from renewable sources. I don’t believe in mankind being the main source, but I do believe in lower costs of living. In the meantime I live near a university where mountains of trash line the street after every semester by so called environmental aware Democrats.

I know that since the sun is quiet right now its going to be colder than normal. That’s science.

You need to update that graph to show the (confirmed) record drop in temperatures near the end by almost 1C, which brings it back in line with solar forcing, IMO.

Also, some papers to support Srenia la’s claim.

This doesn’t really help against the #flatearth people

Your missing the remaining turtles that go all the way down to the bottom.

I think what needs to happen for the deniers to snap out of it is India and Pakistan need to start a nuclear war and cause a devastating nuclear winter around the globe. Maybe then when people are freezing their nuts off and are dying of starvation they’ll realize that oh, turns out people can affect the climate extremely easily, didn’t even require billions of cars and all the factories in the world blowing out pollution 24/7 for decades, all it took was five minutes and a few hundred bombs.

You have committed the ‘false dilemma’ logical fallacy. You must allow the possibility that they could be convinced by less destructive means, such as a sound argument.

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