Earth  ID: 3638

Correlation Between Tropospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration and Seasonal Variation of the Biosphere

This animation shows the correspondence between the drawdown of tropospheric carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere, and the seasonal variation of the biosphere of the earth. The pattern of white squares indicates regions where the concentration of tropospheric CO2 is higher than the trend, while regions devoid of the squares are areas where the CO2 concentrations are lower than the trend. The trend was calculated by a least-squares line fit to a moving 8-day global average of CO2 concentration provided by the AIRS instrument on the Aqua satellite, and increases over the course of the animation (Sept. 2002-Sept. 2006) from 374 ppm to 383 ppm. The biosphere data is provided by the SeaWiFS instrument aboard the SeaStar satellite.

During spring and summer months, the consumption of CO2 through plant respiration increases, reducing the concentration of CO2 (the white squares) over the more productive areas. In the animation, this is seen as a tendency for the CO2 concentration to drop below the trend over areas of deeper green. The cycle is especially apparent in the Northern Hemisphere.



Visualization Credits

Trent L. Schindler (UMBC): Lead Animator
Maria Frostic (UMBC): Producer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, The SeaWiFS Project and GeoEye, Scientific Visualization Studio. NOTE: All SeaWiFS images and data presented on this web site are for research and educational use only. All commercial use of SeaWiFS data must be coordinated with GeoEye (NOTE: In January 2013, DigitalGlobe and GeoEye combined to become DigitalGlobe).

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Data Used:
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

SVS >> Carbon Absorption
SVS >> Carbon Dioxide
SVS >> Transpiration
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Agriculture
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Respiration
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Copenhagen
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Global Vegetation
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