28 Sep '12, 4pm

What is the wettest season when it comes to water in our atmosphere? Watch 10 yrs of NASA satellite data.

Download a Quicktime animation of this dataset (5 MB) Water is constantly cycling through the atmosphere. Water evaporates from the Earth’s surface and rises on warm updrafts into the atmosphere. It condenses into clouds, is blown by the wind, and then falls back to the Earth as rain or snow. This cycle is one important way that heat and energy are transferred from the surface of the Earth to the atmosphere, and transported from one place to another on our planet. Water vapor is also the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Heat radiated from Earth’s surface is absorbed by water vapor molecules in the lower atmosphere. The water vapor molecules, in turn, radiate heat in all directions. Some of the heat returns to the Earth’'s surface. Thus, water vapor is a second source of warmth (in addition to sunlight) at the Earth’s surface. These maps show the average amo...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/GlobalMaps/view.php?d1=M...

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nature.org 09 Oct '12, 8pm

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