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 in item #3811.