Earth 

Aqua/AIRS Sees Belt of Carbon Dioxide in Southern Hemisphere

Although originally designed to measure atmospheric water vapor and temperature profiles for weather forecasting, data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft are now also being used by scientists to observe atmospheric carbon dioxide. In the southern hemisphere, a belt of mid-tropospheric air containing enhanced concentrations of carbon dioxide emerged between 30 and 40 degrees south latitude. This belt had not previously been seen in any chemistry transport model. Subtropical storms track through this region, as do the cloud bands of the intertropical convergence zone near the equator, an area of low atmospheric pressure that forms where northeast and southeast trade winds meet.

The researchers believe strong convection (thunderstorms) in this belt, and South America's high Andes Mountains, lift carbon dioxide from major sources on Earth's surface, such as the respiration of plants, forest fires and facilities for producing synthetic fuels and generating power. This carbon dioxide is then carried into the 'free troposphere,' the part of the troposphere that is too high to be influenced by Earth's surface. There, it becomes trapped in the mid-latitude jet stream, which transports it rapidly around the world.

For more information on AIRS, visit the AIRS Project Web Site: http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov. The AIRS data products are available at http://daac.gsfc.nasa.gov/AIRS/index.shtml.


Visualization Credits

Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Moustafa Chahine (NASA/JPL CalTech): Scientist
Tom Pagano (NASA/JPL CalTech): Scientist
Edward Olsen (NASA/JPL CalTech): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory Scientific Visualization Studio

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3554

Data Used:
Aqua/AIRS/Wind 2003/07/01-31

Dates of Data Used:
2003/07/01-31

This item is part of this series:
COGlobalTransport

Keywords:
DLESE >> Atmospheric science
SVS >> Carbon Dioxide
DLESE >> Chemistry
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Volume
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Chemistry
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Chemistry/Carbon and Hydrocarbon Compounds
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

Places you might have seen this:
Feature article at http://www.terra-marin.com/articles/greengov.php