Earth  ID: 30701

Earth: A System of Systems

This visualization reveals that the Earth system, like the human body, comprises diverse components that interact in complex ways. Heat absorbed by the ocean is transported by ocean currents—shown here as ECCO2 model output. This energy is constantly released into Earth’s atmosphere. Heat and moisture from the ocean and land influence Earth’s weather patterns—represented here as 500 mb wind speeds from GEOS-5. Moisture in the atmosphere—represented as precipitable water from the GEOS-5 model—forms clouds and precipitation—shown here using the GPM IMERG product. Precipitation significantly impacts water availability, which influences soil moisture and ocean salinity—shown here as data from SMAP. Lastly, data from multiple satellites show the density of plant growth on land and chlorophyll concentrations in the ocean. 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.

List of visualizations used:
Slice 1: Sea Surface Currents & Temperature (ECCO2 model)
Slice 2: Winds (GEOS-5 model)
Slice 3: Precipitable Water (GEOS-5 model)
Slice 4: Clouds (GEOS-5 model)
Slice 5: Precipitation (IMERG data)
Slice 6: Soil Moisture (SMAP data)
Slice 7: Biosphere (Multiple satellite datasets)
Slice 8: Blue Marble (MODIS data)

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Alternate Version



Amy Moran (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Lead Animator
Marit Jentoft-Nilsen: Visualizer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP)

SVS >> Clouds
SVS >> Earth
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Precipitation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Water Vapor >> Water Vapor
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Atmosphere >> Winds >> Circulation
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Presentation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Climate Indicators >> Land Surface/agriculture Indicators >> Soil Moisture
SVS >> Sea Surface Speed
SVS >> Beachball

GCMD 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