Simulated Surface Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas emitted primarily from bio- and fossil fuel combustion and forest fires. CO is regulated by the environmental protection agency because extremely high concentrations can cause harmful health effects. This simulation, produced by the Goddard Earth Observing System Model Version 5 (GEOS-5) at 7-kilometer resolution, shows carbon monoxide concentrations at Earth’s surface from December 1-31, 2006. In the atmosphere, CO has a lifetime of about one month resulting in the highest mixing ratios over source regions. The CO seen here primarily comes from fires burning in South America and Africa, and industrial activities taking place in urban areas such as Europe, Asia, and the United States. Atmospheric circulation quickly moves CO in concentrated masses, often transporting this pollutant from one continent to the next. Simulations such as this allow scientists to better understand the variability and transport of CO and show both the regional and global impacts of pollution.
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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio