NASA's Satellite Footage of Ocean Currents Looks Like a Moving Van Gogh Painting

Thursday, 18 May 2017 - 1:41PM
Earth
Thursday, 18 May 2017 - 1:41PM
NASA's Satellite Footage of Ocean Currents Looks Like a Moving Van Gogh Painting
Image credit: NASA, Goddard Space Center
If Planet Earth has taught us anything, it's 1) that the world is filled with hidden wonders and 2) that each of our lives would be greatly approved by having David Attenborough narrating them. However, the following video is not from Planet Earth, it's from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, which has used satellites and complex computer simulations to create a model for the movement of ocean currents across the world. The result, as you'll see, is stunning.



According to the original NASA article:
 
Opening quote
The visualization covers the period June 2005 to December 2007 and is based on a synthesis of a numerical model with observational data, created by a NASA project called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, or ECCO for short. ECCO is a joint project between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. ECCO uses advanced mathematical tools to combine observations with the MIT numerical ocean model to obtain realistic descriptions of how ocean circulation evolves over time.
Closing quote

The ECCO project's goal is to help study how the ocean affects the 'global carbon cycle,' ie, how carbon dioxide is released and absorbed, especially when it comes to polar ice. Despite being one of the coldest, most foreboding places on the planet, the waters of the Antarctic are actually one of the cornerstones of the world's ecosystem, not to mention a major source of concern since the depletion of Antarctic ice could be a defining factor in global climate change.

If you want to see a longer version of the video above, there's a 3-minute and 20-minute version here on the NASA website!
 
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