How CO2 travels around the planet

In this post we shared a really cool video displaying the weather over Earth in 2015, showing how clouds moved around and how seasons changed all over the globe.

NASA produced another similar video showing Earth in 2006 but displaying another side of the globe: CO2 emissions over the planet.

The visualisation is really interesting because it shows how emissions move around with the effect of weather and how different seasons are affected by them.

We can see how in the Northern hemisphere, during spring and summer, plants absorb a substantial amount of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, removing the gas from some of the atmosphere, and this is clear with the reduction of colour red in the video.

On the other hand in autumn and winter, when plants fade, their positive effect in reducing the gas is not present anymore, making for a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during those seasons.

In the meantime, on the other side of the globe, in the southern hemisphere, the “purple” gas emitted is carbon monoxide. During summer months carbon monoxide travels around the globe due to the weather while it moves less during winter as it is a “quieter” season.

The carbon dioxide visualisation was produced by a computer model called GEOS-5, created by scientists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office.

About the Author

Mara Dambour

Mara Dambour

Learning Zone Writer