A surprising new video published by NASA shows how the surface of the planet transforms into more than 20 years of changing seasons.
"It's like watching the Earth breathe in. It's really remarkable *," NASA oceanographer Jeremy Werdell said in a statement.
"It's as if all my senses are being transported into space, and then you can compress time and rewind it, and just observe this kind of visualization."
Scientists constructed visualization with data compiled from September 1997 to September 2017. These twenty years have condensed into two and a half minutes of hypnotic images that show how the surface of the Earth narrows and flows with the seasons.
In this dance of the seasons, you can witness how the vegetation of the Earth changes. By monitoring the color of reflected light via satellite, scientists can determine how successfully the life of the plants is photosynthesizing, which can be very important in badessing the health of the biosphere.
The polar ice caps and the snow cover extend and recede while the green oceans in shades of red and purple as marine life blooms or sinks. The flowering of the 1997-1998 algae is particularly striking, turning considerable areas of the Pacific into a bright green, spurred by the warming of El Niño water fused with a La Niña cooling.
It took three months of hard work to complete the visualization of satellite images, but in the end it was worth it. Now, politicians, but also companies like commercial fishermen, can use these resources in their decision-making process.
This is just the beginning. Like the stations, the NASA visualization will only change. Engineers will improve their performance with each new version as more and better remote sensing satellites enter Earth's orbit.
Did you enjoy this article? Join more than 40,000 subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!