Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Perpetual Ocean

The wind map I posted a couple of months ago was pretty popular. If you liked that then you'll love this.

NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio has created an animation called Perpetual Ocean. The visualization shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through December 2007. The goal of this project was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience. Mission accomplished.

These visualizations were "produced using model output from the joint MIT/JPL project: Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II or ECCO2. ECCO2 uses the MIT general circulation model (MITgcm) to synthesize satellite and in-situ data of the global ocean and sea-ice at resolutions that begin to resolve ocean eddies and other narrow current systems, which transport heat and carbon in the oceans. ECCO2 provides ocean flows at all depths, but only surface flows are used in this visualization. The dark patterns under the ocean represent the undersea bathymetry. Topographic land exaggeration is 20x and bathymetric exaggeration is 40x." The videos I've posted here are grabbed from YouTube. I highly recommend clicking the links below each video and going to the NASA webpages. There you will find more videos, all designed for a very wide, high resolution display.

This first Perpetual Ocean visualization is of some of the world's surface ocean currents.

Learn more at NASA's Perpetual Ocean website

This next visualization shows the Gulf Stream stretching from the Gulf of Mexico all the way over towards Western Europe. The colors indicate sea surface temperatures in degrees Celsius (blue is < or = to 0, yellow is 17, and red is > or = 33).

See more at the Gulf Stream Sea Surface Currents and Temperatures webpage.

This animation shows "ocean current flows in the Mediterranean Sea and Western Atlantic. The time period for this visualization is 16 Feb 2005 through 16 January 2006. For each second the passes in the visualization, about 2.75 days pass in the simulation. The colors of the flows represent their depths. The white flows are near the surface while deeper flows are more blue." Click the picture to be transported to the video.

These animation can be found in various video forms at the Ocean Current Flows around the Mediterranean Sea for UNESCO webpage

This animation shows sea surface current flows. The flows are colored by corresponding sea surface temperature data. The global sea surface currents have been colored by temperature in the same way as the Gulf Stream video above.

The webpage for this visualization has several videos, many of which are cropped to show only certain parts of the Earth. They can be found at the Global Sea Surface Currents and Temperature webpage and the Flat Map Ocean Current Flows with Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) webpage.
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