Perpetual Ocean: An Artistic Look at the World’s Ocean Currents

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 23
March 30, 2012

Following yesterdays amazing visualization showing us for the first time what wind over the United States actually looks like, now we take a look at what ocean currents looks like, in a post-impressionist van Gogh kind of way.

The visualization, titled Perpetual Ocean, was created by NASA scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center and shows ocean currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through December 2007.  Here’s a look at a still shot of the Atlantic and Gulf Stream.

So how was this video and image made? The simple answer… it’s confusing, so let’s leave it up to the scientists at NASA to explain while we just sit back and marvel at the beauty that is the ocean currents.

This visualization was 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.

This image and more can be seen at the Goddard Space Flight Center, HERE.

Via Gothamist

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