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If our CO2 emissions weren't invisible, they'd look like this

Joss Fong is a founding member of the Vox video team and a producer focused on science and tech. She holds a master's degree in science, health, and environmental reporting from NYU.

2014 is on track to be Earth's warmest year since surface temperature measurements began in 1880. More important than which individual year is warmest, though, is the fact that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record will have all happened in the 21st century.

global temperature anomaly

The video above shows the process at the center of global warming: the accumulation of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere. The computer simulation, created by NASA, visualizes atmospheric CO2 for every day of 2006, revealing how the greenhouse gas travels around the globe; how CO2 concentrations fluctuate through the year; and which parts of the planet are producing the most climate-altering emissions.

Further reading: NASA found a way to visualize the most important process behind global warming