U.S. space agency NASA has released the first-of-its-kind 3D visualization of carbon dioxide's (CO2's) concentration in Earth's atmosphere.
This new visualization shows how the heat-trapping gas appears in the atmosphere. The gas has been showed as winds of red, blue and yellow whisking around our planet. Each color stands for a different concentration of the gas, with red and blue representing the highest and the lowest levels of the gas, respectively.
The eye-popping simulation, which was released by the federal agency earlier this week, reveals the invisible driver of global warming and climate change in three dimensions.
It was generated by the Global Modeling & Assimilation Office at NASA's Maryland-based Goddard Space Flight Center, using data from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite.
David Crisp, team leader for the project, said, "Since Sept. of 2014, OCO-2 has been returning almost 100,000 carbon dioxide estimates over the globe each day. Modeling tools like those being developed by our colleagues in the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office are critical for analyzing and interpreting this high-resolution dataset."
The simulation also shows that trees with freshly grown leaves remove CO2 through the natural process of photosynthesis during spring and summer, making the gas color to change to yellow and gradually blue. However, not all of the heat-trapping gas gets sucked up, and the leftovers keep on contributing to global warming.