Watch 20 years go by in less than 3 minutes This visualization was created with data from satellites including SeaWiFS, and instruments including the NASA/NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. (NASA)
Watch 20 years go by in less than 3 minutes
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NASA captured 20 years of changing seasons in a striking new global map of the home planet.

The data visualization, released last week, shows Earth's fluctuations as seen from space.

The polar ice caps and snow cover are shown ebbing and flowing with the seasons. The varying ocean shades of blue, green, red and purple depict the abundance - or lack - of undersea life.

"It's like watching the Earth breathe. It's really remarkable," said NASA oceanographer Jeremy Werdell, who took part in the project.

Two decades - from September 1997 to this past September - are crunched into 2 1/2 minutes of viewing. Werdell finds the imagery mesmerizing.

"It's like all of my senses are being transported into space, and then you can compress time and rewind it, and just continually watch this kind of visualization," he said Friday.

Werdell said the visualization shows spring coming earlier and autumn lasting longer in the Northern Hemisphere. Also noticeable to him is the Arctic ice caps receding over time - and, though less obvious, the Antarctic, too.

On the sea side, Werdell was struck by "this hugely productive bloom of biology" that exploded in the Pacific along the equator from 1997 to 1998 - when a water-warming El Nino merged into cooling La Nina. This algae bloom is evident by a line of bright green.

In considerably smaller Lake Erie, more and more contaminating algae blooms are apparent - appearing red and yellow.

All this data can provide resources for policymakers as well as commercial fishermen and many others, according to Werdell.

Programmer Alex Kekesi of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland said it took three months to complete the visualization, using satellite imagery.

Just like our Earth, the visualization will continually change, officials said, as computer systems improve, new remote-sensing satellites are launched and more observations are made.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why was NASA in a good position to capture this data?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (25)
  • JaidenV-del
    12/04/2017 - 03:42 p.m.

    Nasa has captured the Earth moving in a mater of 20 years seasonal changings. The ice caps and snow were shows ebbing and flowing with the seasons changing. The oceans colors changing its shades of blue green red and purple, showing the lack of the ocean life

  • JulianR-del
    12/04/2017 - 03:48 p.m.

    NASA captured 20 years of changing seasons in a new global map of Earth. The polar ice caps and snow cover are shown ebbing and flowing with the seasons. They started in September 1997.

  • KahlilW-del
    12/04/2017 - 03:59 p.m.

    NASA was in a Good posistion to capture this data cause it could provide policy makers as well as commercial.We can learn more about earth and see the changes

  • JustinM-del
    12/04/2017 - 04:19 p.m.

    The first statement in this article is NASA capturing 20 years of changing seasons in a beautiful new global map of the home planet. What is noticeable about spring, fall, artic, and Antarctica ice caps are visualization shows spring coming earlier and autumn lasting longer in the Northern Hemisphere. Also remarkable is the Arctic ice caps receding over time and, though less visible, the Antarctic. This is important to science because we can see how the weathering is changing lately.

  • GiannaC-del
    12/04/2017 - 05:34 p.m.

    NASA captured 20 years of changing seasons in a striking new global map of the home planet.The data visualization, released last week, shows Earth's fluctuations as seen from space. They are able to see the Earth through different shades of color to represent undersea life and the flow of different seasons.

  • JohnB-del1
    12/04/2017 - 06:32 p.m.

    NASA captured 20 years of changing seasons in a striking new global map of the home planet.The data visualization, released last week, shows Earth's fluctuations as seen from space.The polar ice caps and snow cover are shown ebbing and flowing with the seasons. The varying ocean shades of blue, green, red and purple depict the abundance - or lack - of undersea life. the article talks about how the satellite captured the earth changing over 20 years.

  • DevanS-del
    12/04/2017 - 07:04 p.m.

    This is a captivating visual and an exciting video. It's like traveling back in time to see the major changes of the Earth's surface. This could be extremely helpful to environmentalists to see how these changes might affect the world. These changes, unfortunately, could lead to catastrophe.

  • GemmaV-del
    12/04/2017 - 07:05 p.m.

    All this data can provide resources for policymakers as well as commercial fishermen and many others, according to Werdell.

    Programmer Alex Kekesi of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland said it took three months to complete the visualization, using satellite imagery.

  • PriscillaD-del
    12/04/2017 - 07:14 p.m.

    The lead statement for this article is "The data visualization, released last week, shows Earth's fluctuations as seen from space.". What is noticeable about spring, fall, Arctic, and Antarctic ice caps is that the visualization shows spring coming earlier and autumn lasting longer in the Northern Hemisphere. It is also showing that it is receding over time. Imaging is important to scientists because all this data can provide resources for policymakers as well as commercial fishermen and many others. And it represents Earth's fluctuations as seen from space.

  • CadenceG-del
    12/04/2017 - 08:25 p.m.

    The polar ice caps and snow cover are shown ebbing and flowing with the seasons. The varying ocean shades of blue, green, red and purple depict the abundance - or lack - of undersea life.

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