We saw a still earlier this week, but this NASA visualisation video is truly awesome. It shows how aerosols—fine particles suspended in air—travel around the world in a van Gogh-ish dance of colour. This is what you are seeing here:
- The red tones represent dust dispersed by the wind, some coming from African deserts.
- Sea salt is represented by blue (yes, salt floats suspended above the sea too, thanks to cyclones).
- Sulphate streams, in white, come from erupting volcanoes.
- And organic carbon, from fires, is represented in green.
The visualisation made with a climate model by NASA Goddard’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office—goes from August 2006 to April 2007. According to NASA, “such simulations allow scientists to better understand how these tiny particulates travel in the atmosphere and influence weather and climate.” [NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center]