NASA satellites capture 20 years of seasonal changes

World Today

NASA satellites capture 20 years of seasonal changesFrom space, satellites can see Earth breathe. A new NASA visualization shows 20 years of continuous observations of plant life on land and at the ocean’s surface, from September 1997 to September 2017. On land, vegetation appears on a scale from brown (low vegetation) to dark green (lots of vegetation); at the ocean surface, phytoplankton are indicated on a scale from purple (low) to yellow (high). 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. PHOTOS/ NASA

NASA has captured 20 years of seasonal changes in a striking new global map of the home planet.

The data visualization, released this week, shows two decades’ worth of Earth’s biosphere.

Several satellites were used between September 1997 and September of this year, to compile the data. The polar ice caps can be seen expanding and shrinking with the alternating seasons. In addition, the varying shades of blue, green, red and purple in the oceans depict the abundance _ or lack thereof _ of undersea life.

Programmer Alex Kekesi of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, says it took three months to compile the visualization. He says it will be updated over time, as computer systems for combining numerous data sets like this improve.

Story by The Associated Press

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