Science

NASA Satellites Reveal How Much The Earth Has Changed

It’s no secret that NASA satellites continuously circle around planet Earth and have observed it for many decades. An interesting new video emerged and it shows how much our planet has changed over the last two decades. The satellites monitored the population of plant life on the Earth and also the oceans. The video shows our planet changing over the years, as satellites observed the season changes during the previous years. That includes increasing and decreasing snow coverage on the North and South poles, while the greenery on the land grows and shrinks throughout the year. Meanwhile, the satellites observed areas of microscopic phytoplankton, which is a type of algae that were blooming over the surface of the ocean.

NASA Satellites
Image Source: nasa.gov

“These are incredibly evocative visualizations of our living planet,” said Gene Carl Feldman, an oceanographer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland in a statement. “That’s the Earth, that is it breathtaking every single day, changing with the seasons, responding to the sun, to the changing winds, ocean currents and temperatures.”

Scientists used data from Earth-observing satellites to make the visualization of the “Earth breathing” displayed in the video. The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor began collecting ocean data in 1997, followed by NASA’s Terra, Aqua, and Suomi NPP weather satellites.

Now that the scientists have seen how plant life has changed all around the planet over the last two decades, it can help scientists and researches learn how “ecosystems will respond to a changing climate and broad-scale changes in human interaction with the land,” said NASA officials in the statement.

For instance, studies have shown that rising sea surface temperatures affects the growth of phytoplankton, which means that in the future, there will be fewer organisms in the ocean which can remove carbon dioxide, which is known as the main reason for the climate change that affects us at the moment.

“The space-based view of life allows scientists to monitor crop, forest and fisheries health around the globe. But the space agency’s scientists have also discovered long-term changes across continents and ocean basins,” NASA officials wrote. “As NASA begins its third decade of global ocean and land measurements, these discoveries point to important questions about how ecosystems will respond to a changing climate and broad-scale changes in human interaction with the land.”

You can take a look at the video of NASA satellites monitoring the Earth here.