The NASA satellite, known as OCO-2, has revealed the first global map showing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. The map is created using newest carbon dioxide-monitoring satellite's data and is one of the most detailed views of CO2 ever created.
Paul Wennberg, a professor at Caltech, said, "Measuring an atmospheric gas to a fraction of a percent makes OCO-2 one of the most challenging remote sensing missions that have ever been attempted."
The map shows hot spots over the Eastern Seaboard and parts of China, a sign of the heavy industry on the ground. South America and parts of Africa also show high CO2 levels, which could be due to burning fields and forest to clear them for agriculture.
A second sensor on the satellite measures levels of chlorophyll fluorescence, a measure of plant productivity. Thus, OCO-2 will further help refine the measurement of plant growth and how it relates to CO2 absorption.