The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Stunning NASA Video Illustrates a Year's Worth of Global Carbon Emissions
Here is your tax money doing something really cool.
While most of us—and virtually all climate scientists—won't deny that the carbon emissions driving climate change are real, they're still abstract. But NASA scientists have created a video model that makes them concrete and visual. "A Year in the Life of Earth's CO2" tracks the growth and dispersal of carbon in the atmosphere, compressing a year's worth data into a three-minute video. It's based on a supercomputer model of carbon dioxide levels in the Earth's atmosphere over that period of time.
The view, narrated by NASA climate scientist Bill Putnam, shows the journey of carbon into the atmosphere and its dispersal over the globe unfolds before your eyes, as emissions increase during the fall and winter, then shrink in the spring and summer as new plant growth begins to absorb the carbon. You can see the concentrations of carbon appearing over the biggest emitters: the U.S., Europe and China. And you can watch as emissions spread across the globe from their original source. It even shows carbon monoxide swirling oceans from summer forest fires in Africa and South America.
"As summer transitions to fall and plant photosynthesis decreases, carbon dioxide begins to accumulate in the atmosphere," Putnam explains. "Although this change is expected, we're seeing higher concentrations of carbon dioxide accumulate in the atmosphere every year. This is contributing to the long-term trend of rising global temperatures."
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.
The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
By George Citroner
- Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
- Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
- Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.
Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.