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 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 (37)
  • NathalyP-del
    12/04/2017 - 06:00 p.m.

    he main idea of the article is about how Nasa captured 20 years of season changing in a single video of just 3 minutes.

  • EsmeraldaV-del
    12/04/2017 - 06:44 p.m.

    This article was very interesting! NASA was able to capture 20 years of hanging seasons. The data visualization of Earyjs fluctuations were released last week! I think it’s awesome that NASA was able to accomplish this.

  • PedroM-del1
    12/04/2017 - 07:06 p.m.

    NASA was in a good position to capture this data because they had a lot of time to do all this. Also they were expanding the barriers of technology with new technology every year at the least. I think this is really cool because like it says in the video, it literally shows that the Earth IS breathing in a sense.

  • EvanC-del
    12/04/2017 - 07:11 p.m.

    This must be an exciting thing to see the world will turn into in the future. There are so many questions that I have. I hope the world is better and not sick of hunger.

  • OlivierJ-del
    12/04/2017 - 07:52 p.m.

    This is very interesting. Half of all photosynthesis happens on earth and half in water. There is lots of diversity of animals and plants. The earth looks like it breathing.

  • EthanG-del1
    12/04/2017 - 08:03 p.m.

    This article is about how NASA could see how the world changed in 20 years. A man named Jeremy Werdell was apart of this project and gave us his perspective on this topic.

  • WilliamF-del
    12/04/2017 - 08:13 p.m.

    I think it's a great idea to monitor Earth's life through satellites. I believe that it is our duty to protect the wildlife that is in our perfect planet. Some of the colors are also concerning as we can see some life in unfavorable conditions. Some lights such as the purple cause concern because it is not good to have too little wildlife somewhere. I hope that with the information provided by satellites we can fix the Earth to a perfect condition. We can now see all of concerning issues in the Earth and hopefully fix everything.

  • JuliaA -del
    12/04/2017 - 08:14 p.m.

    The main idea of this article was that you could see how earth changed during the last twenty years from space. For two decades, this was time lapsed to be shown for a show time of 2 and a half minutes. As technology improves, our earth will change as well.

  • ChloeT-del
    12/04/2017 - 08:27 p.m.

    This article is about how the earth has been changing. 20 years of the earth's changes was documented and put together in a 3 minute film. For example, you could see the Arctic ice caps and how they were diminishing over time in the film. This film is interesting because you were able to see the earth's changes in 20 years in a fast pace.

  • ChloeR-del
    12/04/2017 - 08:37 p.m.

    This story is about our home planet changing in the past twenty years. A satellite was put into space and studied our planet. It shows the oceans and the abundance or lack of sea creatures. Werdell a oceanographer said that spring is coming early and fall is lasting longer. Werdell also says that the Arctic caps are receding over time. Lastly, he talks about contaminating algae blooms in Lake Erie that appear yellow and red.

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