Revolutionary high-resolution NASA visualisation shows how carbon dioxide circulates around the globe

Thursday 20th Nov 2014 by theWeather Club

A NASA supercomputer model called GEOS-5 has given us an incredibly beautiful and powerful view of carbon dioxide (CO2) travelling around the globe. The model ingests real data and is then is left running to simulate the natural behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The so-called ‘Nature Run’ simulation shows plumes of CO2 swirling around as weather systems disperse the greenhouse gas around the globe. It is the highest resolution simulation ever created and the first to show such fine detail of how CO2 actually moves through the atmosphere. The seasonal variations in CO2 between the northern and southern hemispheres due to vegetation cycles are clearly visible in the visualisation.

Combining model simulations with satellite observations such as those the recently launched Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite and ground-based measurements, will help increase our understanding of regional and global pathways CO2 takes - from natural and human emissions sources to atmospheric, oceanic and vegetative sinks - and thus the processes that drive CO2 concentrations, allowing scientists to better predict future climate.

The visualisation and further details about the model simulation can be found here >> http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2190/

For detailed views of various parts of the world, visit >> www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/a-closer-look-at-carbon-dioxide