Global average carbon dioxide concentrations as seen by NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission, June 1-15, 2015. OCO-2 measures carbon dioxide from the top of Earth's atmosphere to its surface. Higher carbon dioxide concentrations are in red, with lower concentrations in yellows and greens. Scientists poring over data from OCO-2 mission are seeing patterns emerge as they seek answers to questions about atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Among the most striking features visible in the first year of OCO-2 data is the increase in carbon dioxide in the northern hemisphere during winter, when trees are not removing carbon dioxide, followed by its decrease in spring, as trees start to grow and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
OCO-2 is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, Va., built the spacecraft and provides mission operations under JPL's leadership. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.