The geeks at NASA released a time-lapse photo revealing how our planet has changed over the past two decades. The photos were taken from NASA satellites that continuously monitor populations of plant life on land and in the oceans. The ocean color changes are caused by changing populations of phytoplankton (purple is low population numbers and yellow is high). If it looks like the planet is breathing – well it is! NASA stated:
That’s the Earth, that is it breathing every single day, changing with the seasons, responding to the sun, to the changing winds, ocean currents and temperatures.
The space-based view of life allows scientists to monitor crop, forest and fisheries health around the globe. As NASA begins its third decade of measurements, these discoveries point to important questions about how our planet will respond to a changing climate.