The Wonder of Our Oceans

February 3, 2017
Ocean in Motion

Tornadoes roar across the USA. Giant earthquakes shake the Earth. Storms rip across the continent. Nations brace for giant tsunami waves to crash across the oceans. The Earth is in constant movement.

It’s time to take a deep breath. We are on a giant ball spinning in space and sometimes it is a place of incredible beauty. Everything is moving, the air, the oceans, even the ground beneath us. It forms incredible patterns. Let’s step away from the scare headlines and enjoy the splendor of the Earth we live on.

A team of artists and scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has assembled a short video that shows the ocean currents all over the world. Using satellite readings, sea measurements, even ship notes, the team, led by Greg Shirah, have assembled a model that shows the ebb and flow of the world’s oceans over two years. You can see the mighty Gulf Stream warming the American coastlines. Polar icecaps surge and melt. A cold La Niña chills the Tropical Pacific, and then warms to a balmy El Niño. A parade of swirls surrounds southern Africa like a necklace.

The video is a moment of quiet beauty. It shows the wonder of a living world.


The flow of the world’s ocean currents [3 minutes] SOURCE: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

About This Blog

Are you a weather watcher? Welcome to “Weather Whispers” by James Garriss and until recently, Evelyn Browning Garriss. With expertise and humor, this column covers everything weather—from weather forecasts to WHY extreme weather happens to ways that weather affects your life from farming to your grocery bill. Enjoy weather facts, folklore, and fun!

With heavy hearts, we share the news that historical climatologist and immensely entertaining Almanac contributor Evelyn Browning Garriss passed away in late June 2017. Evelyn shared her lifetime of weather knowledge with Almanac editors and readers, explaining weather phenomena in conversation and expounding on topics in articles for the print edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac as well as in these articles. We were honored to know and work with her as her time allowed, which is to say when she was not giving lectures to, writing articles for, and consulting with scientists, academia, investors, and government agencies around the world. She will be greatly missed by the Almanac staff and readers.