NASA Publishes Beautiful GIFs of Earth to Celebrate Anniversary of Satellites
In 1999, NASA launched the Terra satellite system, intended to observe Earth's climate, and particularly climate change. In honor of the 15th anniversary of the system, NASA published fifteen highlights from their research in image and GIF format. Here are the amazing GIFS, some of which are encouraging, some of which are terrifying.
Collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in Antarctica:
Images drawn from January 31 through April 13, 2002 show that the ice shelf had fully collapsed by March 7.
One year of the global vegetation cycle:
These images allow scientists to compare plant productivity around the world.
The Arctic heats up:
Change in sea ice and solar absorption in the summer months in the Arctic in the last fifteen years. Blue shows where sea ice has decreased, while red shows where solar radiation absorption has increased.
Air quality improves across the country:
Between 2005 and 2011, nitrogen dioxide pollution has decreased in many areas of the United States.
One year of African fires:
NASA's fire maps show that about one third of Earth's land surface is touched by fire each year.
Sea ice growing and shrinking with the seasons:
Sea ice satellite images from Sep. 4, 2009-Jan. 30, 2011 show that the overall amount of sea ice has declined over the last 15 years due to climate change.
Carbon dioxide waxes and wanes with vegetation:
Average yearly CO2 is shown in yellow while MODIS vegetation is shown in green. CO2 accumulates in the Northern Hemisphere winter and spring, then the vegetation's photosynthesis absorbs it in the summer.
The Ozone Layer on the road to recovery:
The minimum concentration of ozone above Antarctica from 1979 to 2013.
For the rest of the images and NASA's full explanation of their research, click here.