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Components of the Water Cycle

Water regulates climate, storing heat during the day and releasing it at night. Water in the ocean and atmosphere carry heat from the tropics to the poles. The process by which water moves around the earth, from the ocean, to the atmosphere, to the land and back to the ocean is called the water cycle. The animations below each portray a component of the water cycle. All use an identical view and camera motion to allow for easy compositing.

Data for the animation of global sea surface temperature was derived from a model run of ECCO's Ocean General Circulation Model. See http://www.ecco-group.org/model.htm for more information on ECCO.

Data for the animation of atmospheric phenomena was created using data from the GEOS-5 atmospheric model on the cubed-sphere, run at 14-km global resolution for 25-days. Variables animated here include evaporation, water vapor and precipitation. For more information on the GEOS-5 see http://gmao.gsfc.nasa.gov/systems/geos5 . For more information on the cubed-sphere work see http://science.gsfc.nasa.gov/610.3/cubedsphere.html. All three of these animations are time synchronous throughout the animation to allow cross fades during compositing.

The final animation shown here, a pulsing network of rivers over the continents, represents the flow of water from land back into the ocean, thereby completing the water cycle.

A flat version of these animations can be found here.

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This animation of sea surface temperature shows the transport of heat along the ocean's surface.    This animation of sea surface temperature shows the transport of heat along the ocean's surface.
Duration: 23.0 seconds
Available formats:
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-4   16 MB
  640x360 (30 fps) MPEG-4   3 MB
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-2   19 MB
  512x288 (30 fps) MPEG-1   6 MB
  346x260 (29.92 fps) WMV         1 MB
  1280x720 (60 fps) Frames (Sst)
  1280x720 (30 fps) Frames (Sst)
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This animation of evaporation shows how heating from the sun causes increased evaporation over land during the day.    This animation of evaporation shows how heating from the sun causes increased evaporation over land during the day.
Duration: 23.0 seconds
Available formats:
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-4   16 MB
  640x360 (30 fps) MPEG-4   3 MB
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-2   14 MB
  512x288 (30 fps) MPEG-1   4 MB
  346x260 (29.92 fps) WMV         1 MB
  1280x720 (60 fps) Frames (Evaporation)
  1280x720 (30 fps) Frames (Evaporation)
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This animation portrays the flow of atmospheric water vapor around the world.    This animation portrays the flow of atmospheric water vapor around the world.
Duration: 23.0 seconds
Available formats:
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-4   16 MB
  640x360 (30 fps) MPEG-4   3 MB
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-2   12 MB
  512x288 (30 fps) MPEG-1   3 MB
  346x260 (29.92 fps) WMV         1 MB
  1280x720 (60 fps) Frames (Vapor)
  1280x720 (30 fps) Frames (Vapor)
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This animation displays the intensity of precipitation as it flows around the globe, showing heavy precipitation in orange/yellow and light precipitation in purple.    This animation displays the intensity of precipitation as it flows around the globe, showing heavy precipitation in orange/yellow and light precipitation in purple.
Duration: 23.0 seconds
Available formats:
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-4   16 MB
  640x360 (30 fps) MPEG-4   3 MB
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-2   32 MB
  512x288 (30 fps) MPEG-1   6 MB
  346x260 (29.92 fps) WMV         2 MB
  1280x720 (60 fps) Frames (Precipitation)
  1280x720 (30 fps) Frames (Precipitation)
  320x90       PNG           8 KB
  320x180     PNG           173 KB
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Color Bar for previous image noted as: This animation displays the intensity of precipitation as it flows around the globe, showing heavy precipitation in orange/yellow and light precipitation in purple.

In this animation, pulsing of the global rivers highlights the flow of water from the continents back into the oceans.    In this animation, pulsing of the global rivers highlights the flow of water from the continents back into the oceans.
Duration: 20.0 seconds
Available formats:
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-4   16 MB
  640x360 (30 fps) MPEG-4   3 MB
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-2   18 MB
  512x288 (30 fps) MPEG-1   5 MB
  1280x720 (60 fps) Frames (Rivers)
  1280x720 (30 fps) Frames (Rivers)
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Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3648
Animation Number:3648
Completed:2009-10-01
Animator:Cindy Starr (GST) (Lead)
Producer:Michelle Williams (UMBC)
Scientists:Matthew Rodell (UMBC)
 William Putman (NASA/GSFC)
 Dimitris Menemenlis (NASA/JPL CalTech)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:Sea Surface Temperature
 GEOS-5 Atmospheric Model on the Cubed-Sphere
 Groundwater Resources of the World
Series:Earth Science Week
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
This is a contribution of the Consortium for Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) funded by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program
The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
 
Keywords:
DLESE >> Atmospheric science
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> SST
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Aerosols
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Phenomena
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Water Vapor
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Precipitation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Water Vapor >> Precipitable Water
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Water Vapor >> Water Vapor
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Precipitation >> Precipitation Amount
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Precipitation >> Rain
SVS >> Copenhagen
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Water Cycle >> Condensation
SVS >> Rivers
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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