NASA has released a video that highlights where snow graced the Earth during every month for more than 10 years. The clip starts with a snow-covered map of the Earth on February 2000 and runs all the way up until last month. The maps show observations collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.
Snow cover is depicted by color, from medium blue (greater than 0%) to white (100%). Regions that didn’t get snow and weren’t picked up by the satellite are displayed in gray.
“Because MODIS relies on visible light to assess snow cover, the sensor cannot collect data over the highest latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere during winter when no sunlight reaches those regions,” NASA said in a statement.
NASA also noted that snow and ice cover most of the Earth’s polar regions throughout the year. The coverage at lower latitudes depends on season and elevation, and high-altitude areas such as the Tibetan Plateau and the Andes and Rocky Mountains receive some amount of snow almost every month.
“Land area is larger and snow cover is more variable in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere,” NASA added.
The Daily Galaxy via NASA Terra Satellite
Image credit: With thanks to mareika.deviantart.com