A storm system impacts the Pacific Northwest, sweeps across the U.S. and eventually impacts Europe and beyond. NASA’s first global rainfall and snowfall map shows this as it happened during a six month span from April to September 2014.
Data from 12 satellites and the GPM Core Observatory was used to create the map seen above. This map shows everything from storm systems impacting the U.S., to convective storms across the Caribbean and snow impacting southern South America. And, it’s updated every 30 minutes.
Here’s the full simulation below. Fast forward to about 2:30 and watch typhoons form and impact areas in China, the Philippines and Japan.
John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington said, “This has been a phenomenally productive year for NASA in our mission to explore our complex planet from the unique vantage point of space.”
“Combined with data from our other Earth-observing spacecraft, these new missions will give us new insights into how Earth works as a system.”
Gail Skofronick-Jackson, GPM project scientist at NASA, says “knowing where, when and how much it rains and snows is vital to understanding Earth’s water cycle.”
Besides creating a nifty precipitation map, data from GPM and other satellites are also giving scientists fresh information about atmospheric carbon dioxide, ocean winds, clouds and aerosols.
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 launched in July 2, 2014. With it, scientists created a preliminary global map of carbon dioxide concentrations from November and December 2014. They found carbon dioxide levels were heavily influenced by the seasons, “with higher levels in the northern hemisphere winter and lower in the southern hemisphere summer,” according to NASA.
Ralph Basilo, OCO-2 project manager at NASA’s JPL, said the preliminary map showed carbon dioxide at levels never before seen in recorded history.
“The ultimate goal is to collect data to advance carbon cycle science, improve understanding of the global climate change process, and make better-informed decisions,” Basilio said.