Want to see Earth breathe?

Published: Nov. 17, 2017 at 12:31 PM CST
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has captured 20 years of seasonal changes in a striking new global map of the home planet.

The data visualization, released this week, shows Earth's fluctuations as seen from space.

The polar ice caps and snow cover are shown ebbing and flowing with the seasons. The varying ocean shades of blue, green, red and purple depict the abundance - or lack - of undersea life.

NASA oceanographer Jeremy Werdell, who took part in the project, says it's like watching Earth breathe. He says the visualization shows spring coming earlier and autumn lasting longer in the Northern Hemisphere. Also noticeable to him is the Arctic receding over time - and, though less obvious, the Antarctic, too.

Researchers compiled the visualization from satellite imagery.