Thursday, April 26th 2012, 12:39 PM EDT
All the highest concentrations are downwind of warm water.
The Mediterranean gets very warm in summer so you can see the plume across the Middle East.
Australia gets CO2 from the ocean between it and South Africa.
South America gets CO2 from the Pacific upwind.
Western USA from the Pacific, upwind.
Southern Asia gets CO2 from the Indian Ocean, upwind.
There is a plume of CO2 downwind of the warm Gulf of Mexico.
and so on.
There is little or no significant excess CO2 above or downwind of major population centres such as Western Europe or the North Eastern USA.
The relatively low CO2 quantities above the equator are due to the clouds and rain of the Intertropical Convergence Zone.
The two main bands of higher CO2 concentration are under the subtropical high pressure systems in each hemisphere where most sunshine gets into the oceans to warm the sea surfaces.
Atmospheric CO2 is clearly driven by sea surface temperatures affecting oceanic absorption capacity and the AIRS results are proof but so far as I know no one else has pointed it out as yet.
Sea surface temperatures are in turn affected by cloudiness and albedo changes and I have extensively described the causes of that elsewhere.
by Stephen Wilde: LLB (Hons.), Solicitor, Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society