Watch as sea salt, dust, and smoke—aerosol particles traveling on the winds—have moved across our planet in 2017. This animated simulation, “based on both satellite observations and computer models that use physical equations to simulate reality,” was created by a team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. From the video notes:
Hurricanes are visible due to salt whipped up into the air off the ocean surface. The obvious source of dust is the Sahara Desert. The amazing thing, besides the utter beauty of this simulation, is just how far these particles travel. The world is a complex system where every piece interacts with every other piece. Models and observations like these are used to understand that better, and to better understand our drastically changing climate.
Read more about it on Phil Plait’s blog at SyFy.Related watching: Satellite Tracks Saharan Dust to Amazon in 3-D. Plus: One Year on Earth – Seen From 1 Million Miles, What Does Earth Look Like From Space? An Astronaut’s Perspective, and Engines of Destruction: The Science of Hurricanes.