A Incredible Supercomputer Model That Visualizes Carbon Dioxide Levels in the Earth’s Atmosphere

In 2014, climate scientist Bill Putnam who works in the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, presented an incredibly startling supercomputer model that visualized the increasing carbon dioxide levels present in the Earth’s atmosphere over the course of a year. He explained how the photosynthesis of trees and other plant life help to reduce those levels, but only on a seasonal basis and increasingly, not enough. Putnam, also noted other concerns, such as increased carbon monoxide levels in the Southern hemisphere, something that is not so easily addressed.

Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, we see the release of another pollutant—carbon monoxide. This is a gas that’s both harmful to the environment and to humans. During the summer months, plumes of carbon monoxide stream from fires in Africa, South America and Australia, contributing to high concentrations in the atmosphere. Notice how these emissions are also transported by winds to other parts of the world. As summer transitions to fall, and plant photosynthesis decreases, carbon dioxide begins to accumulate in the atmosphere.Although this change is expected, we’re seeing higher concentrations of carbon dioxide accumulate in the atmosphere each year. This is contributing to the long-term trend of rising global temp.

The data for the model used actual atmospheric conditions which allowed for future atmospheric predictions

The carbon dioxide visualization was produced by a computer model called GEOS-5, created by scientists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office. The visualization is a product of a simulation called a “Nature Run.” The Nature Run ingests real data on atmospheric conditions and the emission of greenhouse gases and both natural and man-made particulates. The model is then left to run on its own and simulate the natural behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere. This Nature Run simulates January 2006 through December 2006.

via National Geographic