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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Animated Heatwave

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, August 16, 2019/Categories: natural history, video, space science, marine life, sustainability, environment, climate change


             Data Visualization of Greenland and Arctic Heatwave, July-August 5, 2019 (credit: NASA)

In July, a high-pressure system caused record-breaking heat across Europe. In some cities, the temperatures recorded were the highest since record keeping began. The high pressure system then moved northwards in August into Scandinavia and then into the North Atlantic. NASA and NOAA's National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) utilized remote sensing satellites to collect data. NASA's TERRA, Earth monitoring satellite, captured the movement and temperature data of the systems. Using data visualization and animation, the Data Center created a multi-week data visualization of the weather moving northward. The anomalous high temperature system from Europe combined with a second high-pressure event from the Arctic which then settled over Greenland where summer melting was in progress. TERRA detected melting over nearly 90 percent of the ice-cap from July 30th to August 3rd making it one of the largest surface melts observed by satellites.

Danish meteorologists were also working in Greenland and conducted aerial surveys with low altitude aircraft to assess the situation. Temperature records were being broken across the frozen island resulting in billions of tons of meltwater being released into the Atlantic Ocean. The amount of sea-level rise is still being calculated and ice melting will continue into September.

Weather measurements, data visualizations, and ice changes in Greenland and elsewhere in the Arctic illustrate climate change happening in real-time.



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