Components of the Water Cycle on a Flat Map for Science On a Sphere

  • Released Monday, June 13, 2011

Water regulates climate, predominately 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.

These animations of the components of the water cycle were created for the Science On a Sphere production "Loop" 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 hourly clouds, precipitation, evaporation and water vapor. For more information on GEOS-5 see

Some of these visualizations are an orthographic view of the data used in Components of the Water Cycle.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Monday, June 13, 2011.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:53 PM EDT.


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

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.