February 5, 2013
This visualization celebrates over a year of successful Aquarius observations. Sea surface salinity is shown at various locations around the globe. The range of time shown is December 2011 through December 2012. The data continuously loops through this range every 6 seconds. This visualization was generated based on version 2.0 of the Aquarius data products with all 3 scanning beams.
February 4, 2013
This visualization celebrates over a year of successful Aquarius observations. Sea surface salinity in the northern hemisphere is shown as the globe slowly rotates. The data cycles through a single year, 2012, and repeats. Two versions of the visualization are provied: a version with dates and a scientific color bar and another version without dates and a simpler color bar. The range of time shown is December 2011 through Decemeber 2012. The data continuously loops through this range every 6 seconds. This visualization was generated based on version 2.0 of the Aquarius data products with all 3 scanning beams.
January 7, 2013
Animation showing the extent of MY sea ice (white), FY sea ice (light gray), and open water (darker gray) from June 20, 2002 – November 23, 2009. Sea ice extent was derived from QuikSCAT data. Provided courtesy of David Long, Brigham Young University. Animation Link: QuikSCAT Arctic Sea Ice Classification and Extent (2002-2009) (~ 76 MB MPEG-4 File)
October 22, 2012
Using data from several satellite altimeters, a finer picture of the ever-changing height of the oceans is revealed. Swirling currents called eddies pepper the global ocean. Like small pock-marks in sea surface height, these eddies are found in every major ocean basin. Near the Equator, the eddies give way to fast moving features called Kelvin Waves. When they build up in the Pacific, these waves can usher in a phenomenon known as El Nino, which happens when warm water and high sea levels move into the Eastern Pacific along the Equator.
October 15, 2012
The IPRC Surface Currents Diagnostic (SCUD) model is used to simulate evolution of debris field, drifting from the shores of Japan, affected by the March 11, 2011 tsunami. The model is on 1/4° grid. Daily surface velocities are diagnosed using the mean dynamic topography, AVISO anomalies of geostrophic velocities and satellite winds. Local coefficients of the model are tunes to best reproduce concurrent velocities of near-surface drifters. Down-wind velocities are added according to the windage of the model debris, varying from 0% to 5% and shown on the animation in colors, mixed according to the debris concentration and composition.
October 15, 2012
The Argo Array of profiling floats is the first attempt to monitor the global subsurface ocean temperature and salinity fields in real time. The first floats were deployed in late 1999 and it took another 8 years to reach the global target of 3000 operating floats delivering data every 10 days. This animation shows daily float locations overlayed on the 150m depth salinity field from an eddy resolving ocean model. While 3000 floats seems like a lot, on a daily basis the ocean is still very undersampled. Animation Link:
October 8, 2012
This animation illustrates sea surface height anomalies (SSHA) from 1950 to 2009. The pre TOPEX/Poseidon (1992) SSHA data are derived from a cyclo-stationary EOF tuned to the AVISO SSHA and then applied to tide gauge data. Animation Link: Reconstructed Sea Surface Height from altimetry and tide gages: 1950-2009 (~ 110 MB MPEG-4 File)
October 4, 2012
The GRACE twin satellites, launched 17 March 2002, are making detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field and are revolutionizing investigations about Earth's water reservoirs, large-scale solid earth changes, ice cover, and oceans. To aid in the interpretation of gravity change over the oceans, the GRACE Tellus project provides ocean bottom pressure (OBP) derived from the GRACE satellites. OBP is the sum of the mass of the atmosphere and ocean in a 'cylinder' above the seafloor. Animation Link:
October 1, 2012
Beginning in 1978 with the first Earth orbiting ocean observing satellite, Seasat, continuing with Geosat, ERS-1,TOPEX/Poseidon, ERS-2, Jason-1, Envisat and Jason-2 missions and looking ahead to the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission scheduled to launch in 2020, the improvement of the spatial resolution in NASA and partners altimetric missions is dramatic. This animation illustrates this progression of improved data resolution. SWOT will provide sea surface height and hydrography measurements at very high spatial and temporal resolutions unlike anything that has ever been available. Animation Link:
August 3, 2012
Water is the fundamental ingredient for life on Earth. Looking at our Earth from space, with its vast and deep ocean, it appears as though there is an abundance of water for our use. However, only a small portion of Earth's water is accessible for our needs. How much fresh water exists and where it is stored affects us all. This animation uses Earth science data from a variety of sensors on NASA Earth observing satellites as well as cartoons to describe Earth's water cycle and the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth. Sensors on a suite of NASA satellites observe and measure water on land, in the ocean and in the atmosphere.