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NASA Supercomputer Tracks Carbon Dioxide In Our Atmosphere

Update Date: Nov 24, 2014 10:09 AM EST

A new NASA simulation has revealed secret swirling of carbon dioxide - the gas responsible for warming our planet. 

The simulation was done by a supercomputer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt and took 75 days to create it.

The simulation accounts for CO2 emissions from May 2005 to June 2007 and its super high resolution mapping is 64 times as great as the average climate model. 

According to the created simulation, CO2 emissions come almost exclusively from the Northern Hemisphere and the reason is summer heat and the tail-end of the growing season. 

"We know that crops have increased in productivity over this time period and they were in the right place to be influencing this," said Boston University assistant professor Josh Gray said in a press statement, according to NSF.gov.

According to researchers, corn, soybeans, wheat and rice account for the highest percentage of crops that release maximum CO2. 

"This study shows the power of modeling and data mining in addressing potential sources contributing to seasonal changes in carbon dioxide" said Liz Blood, program director for the National Science Foundation's Macro Systems Biology Program, who supported the research. "It points to the role of basic research in finding answers to complex problems."

"We did the math and it turns out-surprising to me-they actually account for a lot of that increase. This is a direct consequence of intensive management of these ecosystems," Gray added. "The still dominant effect with relation to climate change is related to this long-term increase in emissions. Almost everything is related to atmosphere."

The study was published in the journal Nature

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