By combining massive amounts of diverse data, scientists from NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a beautiful high-resolution model of the Earth’s ocean currents.
The project, called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO), uses observational data—including ocean surface topography, surface wind stress, temperature, salinity profiles and velocity data—collected between June 2005 and December 2007. By incorporating these data into an M.I.T. model, the result is “realistic descriptions of how ocean circulation evolves over time,” according to the press release. “These model-data syntheses are among the largest computations of their kind ever undertaken.”