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Watch NASA’s amazing visualization of global CO2

By Erik Olsen
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

When we think of the carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere, it’s sometimes difficult to imagine all that odorless, invisible gas causing global climate change. But a new NASA supercomputer project uses satellite measurements of CO2 to model how this critical greenhouse gas moves through the atmosphere. The 3-D visualization shows how CO2 seems to pool and swirl, mostly above the heavily industrialized northern hemisphere, over the course of one year, from September 2014 to September 2015.

The video manages to be both informative to scientists and strangely beautiful. Scientists are finding the visualization useful to better understand how CO2 moves over the planet, and how oceans and forests work to absorb the gas from the atmosphere.

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