Space Images For Students
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map of Earth showing carbon dioxide in July 2009
Earth Carbon Dioxide Around Earth
NASA satellites look at Earth in many ways. This image shows carbon dioxide in part of Earth's atmosphere in July 2009. Carbon dioxide is a gas that occurs both naturally in Earth's atmosphere and as a result of human activities, like burning oil and coal for energy. Carbon dioxide is called a greenhouse gas. This means that too much in the atmosphere causes Earth to warm up. (Learn more about carbon dioxide on NASA Climate Kids .)

Red areas in South America and Africa are from forest fires and, in the southernmost part of Africa, from energy production. Atmospheric patterns called jet streams help set the northern and southern limits for the transport of carbon dioxide around each hemisphere.

This image was made by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on NASA's Aqua satellite.
Image credit: NASA/JPL