Carbon Dioxide in 3-D
An unprecedented 3-D view of Earth's carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide plays a significant role in trapping heat in Earth's atmosphere. This 3-D, high-resolution visualization reveals in startling detail the complex patterns in which carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, decreases and moves around the globe with the seasons and the weather over the course of September 2014 to September 2015. Scientists with NASA's Global Modeling and Assimilation Office used data from the agency's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite to create this model of carbon dioxide behavior, which will help them answer questions about where to find its sources and sinks, including from human emissions, and how those may change in the future. Watch the video to see the ebb and flow of this potent greenhouse gas.
Watch satellite observations of carbon dioxide rendered in 3-D travel throughout the world from Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015.
In the Northern Hemisphere (right) carbon dioxide accumulates in the winter and spring when plants are dormant.
25% of yearly carbon dioxide emissions are taken up by the ocean and 25% are taken up by photosynthesis on land, as seen here in September.
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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio