A beautiful video that shows the extent of human activity over the Earth’s surface.
Earth | Time Lapse View from Space | Fly Over | Nasa, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.
Time lapse sequences of photographs taken with a special low-light 4K-camera
by the crew of expedition 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station from
August to October, 2011.
HD, refurbished, smoothed, retimed, denoised, deflickered, cut, etc.
Music: Jan Jelinek – Do Dekor (Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records) | ~scape 007 cd
http://www.janjelinek.com | http://www.scape-music.de
Editing: Michael König | http://www.koenigm.com
Image Courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory,
NASA Johnson Space Center, The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
Shooting locations in order of appearance:
1. Aurora Borealis Pass over the United States at Night
2. Aurora Borealis and eastern United States at Night
3. Aurora Australis from Madagascar to southwest of Australia
4. Aurora Australis south of Australia
5. Northwest coast of United States to Central South America at Night
6. Aurora Australis from the Southern to the Northern Pacific Ocean
7. Halfway around the World
8. Night Pass over Central Africa and the Middle East
9. Evening Pass over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East
10. Pass over Canada and Central United States at Night
11. Pass over Southern California to Hudson Bay
12. Islands in the Philippine Sea at Night
13. Pass over Eastern Asia to Philippine Sea and Guam
14. Views of the Mideast at Night
15. Night Pass over Mediterranean Sea
16. Aurora Borealis and the United States at Night
17. Aurora Australis over Indian Ocean
18. Eastern Europe to Southeastern Asia at Night
The same arctic weather patterns that have been cooling N. Europe and the Eastern USA have been warming Greenland as is shown in NASA’s image of the day Record Melting in Greenland during 2010:
2010 was an exceptional year for Greenland’s ice cap. Melting started early and stretched later in the year than usual. Little snow fell to replenish the losses. By the end of the season, much of southern Greenland had set a new record, with melting that lasted 50 days longer than average.
This image was assembled from microwave data from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) of the Defense Meteorological Satellites Program. Snow and ice emit microwaves, but the signal is different for wet, melting snow than for dry. Marco Tedesco, a professor at the City College of New York, uses this difference to chart the number of days that snow is melting every year. This image above shows 2010 compared to the average number of melt days per year between 1979 and 2009.
When snow melts, the fine, bright powder turns to larger-grained, gravely snow. These large grains reflect less light, which means that they can absorb more energy and melt even faster. When the annual snow is melted away, parts of the ice cap are exposed. The surface of the ice is also darker than snow. Since dark ice was exposed earlier and longer in 2010, it absorbed more energy, leading to a longer melt season. A fresh coat of summer snow would have protected the ice sheet, but little snow fell.
I’ve published several links to global maps of coastal hypoxia. Now, NASA has produced a new map of global hypoxic zones, based on Diaz and Rosenberg’s . Spreading Dead Zones and Consequences for Marine Ecosystems. in Science, 321(5891), 926-929. NASA’s EOS Image of the Day writes on Aquatic Dead Zones.
Red circles on this map show the location and size of many of our planet’s dead zones. Black dots show where dead zones have been observed, but their size is unknown.
It’s no coincidence that dead zones occur downriver of places where human population density is high (darkest brown). Some of the fertilizer we apply to crops is washed into streams and rivers. Fertilizer-laden runoff triggers explosive planktonic algae growth in coastal areas. The algae die and rain down into deep waters, where their remains are like fertilizer for microbes. The microbes decompose the organic matter, using up the oxygen. Mass killing of fish and other sea life often results.
This map shows how temperatures during the decade (2000-2009) compared to average temperatures recorded between 1951 and 1980. The most extreme warming, was in the Arctic (shown in red). The blue areas are cooler than average, while the grey areas show places where temperatures were not recorded.
From NASA’s Image of the Day: 2009 Ends Warmest Decade on Record
January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record. Throughout the last three decades, the GISS surface temperature record shows an upward trend of about 0.2°C (0.36°F) per decade. Since 1880, the year that modern scientific instrumentation became available to monitor temperatures precisely, a clear warming trend is present. In total, average global temperatures have increased by about 0.8°C (1.5°F) since 1880.
Impact of the negative Arctic Oscillation on land surface temperatures throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Acquired December 1 - 31, 2009 from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite
The Arctic Oscillation is unusually strong right now. The consequences, a warm arctic and cold N Europe and E North America, are illustrated in the image Winter Temperatures and the Arctic Oscillation from NASA’s Earth Observatory’s Image of the Day:
If you live nearly anywhere in North America, Europe, or Asia, it’s no news that December 2009 and early January 2010 were cold. This image illustrates how cold December was compared to the average of temperatures recorded in December between 2000 and 2008. Blue points to colder than average land surface temperatures, while red indicates warmer temperatures. Much of the Northern Hemisphere experienced cold land surface temperatures, but the Arctic was exceptionally warm. This weather pattern is a tale-tell sign of the Arctic Oscillation.
The Arctic Oscillation is a climate pattern that influences winter weather in the Northern Hemisphere. It is defined by the pressure difference between air at mid-latitudes (around 45 degrees North, about the latitude of Montreal, Canada or Bordeaux, France) and air over the Arctic. A low-pressure air mass dominates the Arctic, while high pressure systems sit over the mid-latitudes. The strength of the high- and low-pressure systems oscillates. When the systems are weaker than normal, the pressure difference between the Arctic and mid-latitudes decreases, allowing chilly Arctic air to slide south while warmer air creeps north. A weaker-than-normal Arctic Oscillation is said to be negative. When high and low pressure systems are strong, the Arctic Oscillation is positive.
The Boston Globe weblog the Big Picture has an online series (23 photos) of fantastic images from NASA’s Earth Observatory site itself. Below are two smaller versions of the images:
#3 South of Khartoum, Sudan, where the White and Blue Nile Rivers join, a dizzying arrangement of irrigated fields stretches out across the state of El Gezira. The several bare-looking patches are small villages. This image was captured by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite on December 25, 2006. (NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)
#6 Sidi Toui National Park, in the southern half of Tunisia, close to the Libyan border, viewed by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) instrument on NASA's Landsat 7 satellite on December 13, 1999. Native vegetation can be seen returning inside the borders of this protected park (approx. 7 kilometers wide), established in 1993 to protect the region against desertification. The effects of continued agriculture, overgrazing and drought can be seen on the surrounding arid landscape. (NASA/Jesse Allen/Landsat,USGS)
via Agricultural Biodiversity weblog
Global Fires : Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory:
Like plants, fire activity grows and wanes in seasonal patterns. Globally, fires peak in July, August, and September, when summer’s drying heat makes vegetation flammable and lightning ignites the landscape. In addition, summer is the time when many crops are harvested and fields are burned in the Northern Hemisphere, where most of Earth’s continents are. On any given day in July, August, or September an estimated 6,000 fires burn across the world. February is the slowest month of the year, with an estimated 3,000 fires per day. To watch fires move across the globe throughout the year, see Fire in the Global Maps section of the Earth Observatory.
The contrast between the two months is shown in this pair of images made from data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. The top image shows all of the fires detected during August 2008, while the lower image shows February 2008. Dense fire concentrations are yellow, while more scattered fires are red. February is clearly the burning season in the tropics. A solid band of red stretches across the Sahel of Africa, and hundreds fires were burning in northern South America, Central America, and southeast Asia. In August, the fire regions shifted into more temperate regions north and south of the Equator. Intense agricultural fires burn in south-central Europe and in southern Africa.
An animation of global fires is available on the Global Maps section of the NASA Earth Observatory
NASA Earth Observatory shows agricultural development and divisions on reclaimed land in the man-made IJsselmeer in the Netherlands. Over time the heterogenity of the newly created land shown in the image as fields are divided and land uses have diversified.
NASA Earth Observatory explains:
NASA’s Landsat satellites captured repeated images of IJsselmeer, and recorded changes on one such polder, shown in the top-middle part of each image. Landsat 2 took the top picture on September 8, 1980. Landsat 5 took the middle picture on May 23, 1989. Landsat 7 captured the bottom image on July 1, 2006. In these false-color images, red indicates vegetation, and the brighter the red, the more robust the plant life. Water appears navy blue. Pavement and bare soil range in color from pale blue to gray-green.
Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
NASA’s Earth Observatory describes the advantages and difficulties of observing the world’s cities at night.
Elizabeth Kolbert’s writes about American lawns in The New Yorker article Turf War:
Americans spend an estimated forty billion dollars each year on grass—and to the academic discipline of turf management, degrees in which can now be obtained from, among other schools, the University of Massachusetts and Ohio State. The lawn has become so much a part of the suburban landscape that it is difficult to see it as something that had to be invented. … the American lawn now represents a serious civic problem. That the space devoted to it continues to grow—and that more and more water and chemicals and fertilizer are devoted to its upkeep—doesn’t prove that we care so much as that we are careless.