Source: Thomas Pagano, AIRS Project, NASA/JPL-Caltech
Published: May 31, 2022

The AIRS instrument acquired multiple geophysical parameters simultaneously with global daily coverage. Five parameters are presented in sequence: Temperature at 931 mb, specific humidity at 931 mb, cloud fraction, carbon monoxide and total column ozone.

This animation was made from Version 2 of the CLIMCAPS-Aqua L3 data product. Most geophysical parameters derived from AIRS are contained in a single L3 data file, making it easy to look at the relationships between them.

Temperature and water vapor products are shown at 931 mb. The animation highlights some of the basic principles of thermodynamics seen in Earth’s atmosphere. We see more water vapor at warmer temperatures in the tropics, consistent with the Clausius–Clapeyron relation.

Only the densest clouds are visible in this animation and if you look closely, they seem to often appear at boundaries between warm moist air and cooler drier regions.

Carbon monoxide abundance is independent of temperature and water vapor and a large plume is seen over Africa in green that dissipates in late March.

Finally, total column ozone is presented in fuchsia and can be seen in highest concentrations over the polar region.