The map reveals large carbon dioxide concentrations around South America and Southern Africa
The map reveals large carbon dioxide concentrations around South America and Southern Africa. Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech
Earlier this week, NASA released the first global maps from its Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission, depicting atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in the spring of 2014. The OCO-2 satellite measures and maps out carbon dioxide emissions, and determines where carbon dioxide is being absorbed. The first map only contains data collected from October 1st to November 1st but they already reveal plenty about where carbon dioxide is being emitted and why. For example, these first maps show strong concentrations around South America and Southern Africa, which is the result of large agricultural fires of savannas and forests that happen in those regions at that tme of year. NASA is to release more data and maps from the OCO-2 mission by the beginning of the new year.