Earth: A System of Systems (updated)
In order to study the Earth as a whole system and understand how it is changing, NASA develops and supports a large number of Earth-observing missions. These missions provide Earth science researchers the necessary data to address key questions about global climate change.
This visualization reveals that the Earth system, like the human body, comprises diverse components that interact in complex ways. Shown first, the Multi-Scale Ultra-High Resolution (MUR) sea surface temperature (SST) dataset combines data from the Advanced Very High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra and Aqua, and Advanced Microwave Spectroradiometer-EOS (AMSR-E) instruments. Constantly released into the Earth’s atmosphere, heat and moisture from the ocean and land influence Earth’s weather patterns—represented here as wind speeds from the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) dataset. Moisture in the atmosphere—represented as water vapor (also from MERRA)—forms clouds (shown here using cloud layer data from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center) and precipitation. Precipitation (data from GPM IMERG) significantly impacts water availability, which influences soil moisture (data from NASA-USDA-FA) and ocean salinity.
While scientists learn a great deal from studying each of these components individually, improved observational and computational capabilities increasingly allow them to study the interactions between these interrelated geophysical and biological parameters, leading to unprecedented insight into how the Earth system works—and how it might change in the future.
AMSR-E Atmosphere Atmospheric Composition Atmospheric science Atmospheric Water Vapor Beachball Clouds Earth Science HDTV Hyperwall IMERG Land Surface MERRA MODIS NOAA Ocean Temperature Oceans Physical oceanography precipitation Presentation sea surface temperature Soil Moisture/Water Content Soil science Soils Water Vapor Weather and Atmospheric Dynamics Wind Patterns
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Datasets used in this visualization
Soil MoistureID: 405Model Collected with GEMS NASA NSIPP
GEMS stands for Goddard Earth Modeling System. It is also known as the NSIPP Global Climate Model.See all pages that use this dataset
CPC (Climate Prediction Center) Cloud CompositeID: 600Data Compilation Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 2014-2015
Global cloud cover from multiple satellitesSee all pages that use this dataset
MERRAID: 684Analysis 2014-2015
IMERGID: 863Data Compilation NASA/GSFC 2014-2015
This dataset can be found at: http://pmm.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/document_files/IMERG_ATBD_V4.4.pdfSee all pages that use this dataset
Global Flood Monitoring System (GFMS)ID: 901Model UMD
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.