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The Earth's system is characterized by the interaction of processes that take place on molecular (very small) and planetary (very large) spatial scales, as well as on short and long time scales. Scientific visualizations allow us to experience Earth processes at faster speeds, and on manageable smaller scales, facilitating data analysis and enhancing understanding. Explore the visualizations below to see the new benchmark map scientists can use to study the extent and speed of changes to the largest ice sheet in the world.


The Eyjabakkajökull Glacier is an outlet glacier of the Vatnajökull ice cap in Iceland that has been retreating since a major surge occurred in 1973. Students analyze these maps to identify the scale, rate of change, and volume affected by the glacier retreat.




Data scientists work with data captured by scientific instruments or generated by a simulator, as well as data that is processed by software and stored in computer systems. They work with scientists to analyze databases and files using data management techniques and statistics. From changes in sea level,  atmospheric composition, or land use, data scientists help make sense of the petabytes of data that NASA collects and stores.