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STUNNING: Ever seen the Earth breathing?

Last updated on: August 20, 2013 17:18 IST

Ever seen the Earth breathe? Well, John Nelson has just shown that it does.

Here’s what Nelson, a GIS analyst with Michigan-based IDV Solutions, created using cloudless images from NASA’s Visible Earth team.

In his blog, Nelson says: "I downloaded twelve cloud-free satellite imagery each month of the year. I wrapped them into some fun projections then stitched them together into a couple animated gifs.

On why he chose to work on the project, he says: ‘Having spent much of my life living near the centre of that mitten-shaped peninsula in North America, I have had a consistent seasonal metronome through which I track the years of my life. When I stitch together what can be an impersonal snapshot of an entire planet, all of the sudden I see a thing with a heartbeat. I can track one location throughout a year to compare the annual push and pull of snow and plant life there, while in my periphery I see the oscillating wave of life advancing and retreating, advancing and retreating.  And I'm reassured by it."

"Of course there are the global characteristics of climate and the nature of land to heat and cool more rapidly than water.  The effects of warm currents feeding a surprisingly mild climate in the British Isles.  The snowy head start of winter in high elevations like the Himalayas, Rockies, and Caucuses, that spread downward to join the later snowiness of lower elevations.  The continental wave of growing grasses in African plains."

Graphic Courtesy: John Nelson