Ever wondered what the world's oceans look like to artistically-inclined astronauts? Wonder no more. The Scientific Visualisation Studio at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has mapped the earth's ocean surface currents from June 2005 through December 2007. The result: half sophisticated climate model, half Van Gogh.
The model Nasa used to make the video is called ECCO2 (Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean), which brings together satellite and other data to provide a more precise picture of the currents that move heat and carbon around the seas. So it's more than just a trippy animation: it's the type of technology that will help us to understand how climate change and sea-level rises are changing the world: