NASA reveals Nature Run simulation

The movement of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide through the atmosphere has been modelled by NASA and visualised in a new animation. The colours represent a range of carbon dioxide concentrations, from 375 (dark blue) to 395 (light purple) parts per million. The red represents about 385 parts per million. White plumes represent carbon monoxide emissions.

The videos in this post are part of a simulation called a "Nature Run". It is operated on the Goddard Earth Observing System Model, Version 5 (GEOS-5) model, and uses real data on atmospheric conditions, greenhouse gas emissions, and the release of particulates by both human and natural processes. The model then simulates the behaviour of the atmosphere. .

NASA reports that the model run took 75 days to complete. The US space agency says that GEOS-5 can be used to refine ideas for new satellite instruments for weather and climate data.

Atlantic atmospheric patterns are evident in this close-up of North America:

The close-up of Asia shows the huge influence of the Himalaya mountains. The atmospheric patterns swirl around them.

Seasonal fires in southern Africa are also shown in the model. This video from 1 August 2006 to 1 September 2006 shows a close-up of the region, with carbon dioxide showing in rainbow colours and carbon monoxide showing up as plumes of white.

NASA will collect new information on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with the OCO-2 mission, launched earlier in 2014.