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
Lexile

NASA captured 20 years of changing seasons in a striking new global map of the home planet.

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

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

"It's like watching the Earth breathe. It's really remarkable." That's according to Jeremy Werdell, a NASA oceanographer. He took part in the project.

Two decades are crunched into 2 1/2 minutes of viewing. The time frame is September 1997 to this past September.

Werdell finds the imagery mesmerizing.

"It's like all of my senses are being transported into space. 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. Less obvious, though is the Antarctic.

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. That’s 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. This will happen 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)
  • GregoryM-del
    12/04/2017 - 03:39 p.m.

    You can see 20 years go by in 3 minutes. A video was released that shows the fluctuations as seen from space. Like our
    Earth the video is constantly changing.

  • JadeR-del
    12/04/2017 - 03:50 p.m.

    This article is about how NASA has created a video that captures 20 years of the years changing in 2 and a half minutes! We can watch the earth change over a long span of time in just a couple minutes! It's absolutly fascinating how much we can see in such a short period of time!

  • ZofiaT-del
    12/04/2017 - 04:23 p.m.

    This article is about how Nasa has been "recording" Earth for the last two decades. Jeremy Werdell, who was part of this project, believes that this map will help people all around the world. There are different colors indicating each thing, like red is algae, and the shades of blue and purple are the amount of sea animals in the area.

  • AkshayB-del
    12/04/2017 - 04:32 p.m.

    This article is about you watch a video that shows you 20 years go in less than 3 minutes. NASA captured 20 years of changing seasons in a striking new global map of the home planet.
    It shows Earth's fluctuations as seen from space. Two decades are crunched into 2 1/2 minutes of viewing. The time frame is September 1997 to this past September.

  • JaredI-del
    12/04/2017 - 04:45 p.m.

    the satellite has probably been up in the air for that long

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

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

  • RushB-del
    12/04/2017 - 05:03 p.m.

    This article is about a video that shows how earth constantly changes by showing us a video of the earth in the past 20 years. The article also talks about how you can see the changes like Arctic ice caps gradually diminishing over time or how you can see more algae blooms.

  • NatalieH-del
    12/04/2017 - 05:10 p.m.

    NASA released a video of the seasons changing for 20 years. It's a presentation of the seasons changing from outer space. In the presentation, you could see colors on the earth representing oceans and land.

  • AnnabelleA-del
    12/04/2017 - 05:21 p.m.

    So, this article is about a video that NASA made to show our world's changes in 20 years. The short video both showed,explained the climate, algae levels, and the ice melting. I thought everything was very interesting. I hope that in the future, these satellite photos can tell us even more!

  • SophiaD-del1
    12/04/2017 - 05:37 p.m.

    The main idea is that NASA created a time lapse of our Earth in three minutes. This shows how the Earth changes seasonally and basically breathes with the changing seasons. It shows the algae blooms, the ice caps growing and shrinking, and it shows the life that changes in the oceans and the migrations of those creatures.

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