Thanks to AIRS research, scientists have been able to see important information about CO2, including that it doesn’t mix uniformly in the troposphere, that the southern hemisphere is a net recipient of CO2 from the north, and that there’s a carbon dioxide belt that circles the globe.
Researchers also discovered the role of water vapor in atmospheric models. The data are the strongest observational evidence to date for how water vapor responds to a warming climate, finding that most of the warming caused by CO2 actually happens as a result of “feedbacks” with water vapor being one of them, which amplifies initial warming.
“AIRS temperature and water vapor observations have corroborated climate model predictions that the warming of our climate produced as carbon dioxide levels rise will be greatly exacerbated — in fact, more than doubled — by water vapor,” said Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
More info about NASA’s new CO2 data set.