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Animation Shows One Year of CO2 Swirling Through the Atmosphere

  1. Nov 18, 2014 #1
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2014 #2


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    It's interesting how plants manage to absorb so much carbon dioxide during the summer. Thanks.
  4. Nov 19, 2014 #3
    I was just about to post this video! Very interesting! I also liked how much plants helped in the summer and was surprised by the carbon monoxide offset in the other half of the globe.
  5. Dec 9, 2014 #4
    This is beautiful.
  6. Dec 17, 2014 #5


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    Good site, thanks.
  7. Jan 13, 2015 #6
    So the first data from the OCO-2 satellite are in from NASA: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/19dec_oco/

    http://science.nasa.gov/media/medialibrary/2014/12/19/splash2.jpg [Broken]

    Clearly this map is not directly comparable to the simulation video posted above:
    a) the data image is an average from October 1st to November 11th 2014 whereas the simulation video is made up of day long segments from based on 2006 atmospheric circulation data
    b) the scales are different
    c) absolute CO2 concentrations were higher in 2014 than in 2006
    d) the video also includes carbon monoxide concs on another scale which somewhat confuse the picture

    BUT to the layman (me) it does seem like the simulation has done a relatively poor job of simulating the relative CO2 concentrations represented by the data. If you stop the video at 2:28 representing the 21st October 2006 (roughly the midpoint of the data period from the OCO-2 picture):

    I would argue the following arguments are fair:
    a) South America and Southern Africa have much larger concentrations than the simulated hotspots
    b) S.E. Asia has a completely unexpected high CO2 concentration
    c) the Oceans of the southern hemisphere are either (net) releasing more CO2 than expected, or the much larger than expected over land hotspots in the southern hemisphere have generated much larger southern hemisphere concentrations across the oceans than expected
    d) the northern hemisphere is (net) releasing much less CO2 than expected
    e) the south east China CO2 hotspot is well represented in the model

    I'm really looking forward to seeing how the data from OCO-2 develops over the next year and whether the seemingly reasonable correlation between solar induced flourescence continues throughout the year . . . although confusingly the time period for this map is August to October 2014:

    http://science.nasa.gov/media/medialibrary/2014/12/19/splash3.jpg [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  8. Jan 14, 2015 #7


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    It's tough to say what's going on without knowing how air masses were moving (stationary highs, lows yielding stagnation, or seasonal "winds" coming through and moving the seasonal burning CO2 out of an area quickly.
    Again, without correlating this to movements and mixing of air masses, it's "up in the air" as to what it actually means.
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