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Caspian Sea temperatures set in motion, set to music

Russian scientist creates simulation of daily sea surface temperatures in the Caspian Sea

Caspian Sea temperatures set in motion, set to music

Caspian Sea MODIS sea surface temperatures, May 2006, visualized with Giovanni. Data from the GSFC OBPG.

Caspian Sea temperatures set in motion, set to music

The research paper "Intelligent Simulation of Hydrophysical Fields by Immunocomputing" (Tarakanov, Sokolova, and Kvachev, Information Fusion and Geografic Information Systems, 2007: 252-262) might not seem to harbor an artistic statement, but a novel application of data simulation has led to a unique merger of science and art.

In his research, Dr. Alexander Tarakanov of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg Institute for Informatics and Automation) utilized monthly sea surface temperature data (SST) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), which is generated by the Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG).   Dr. Tarakanov acquired the MODIS SST data from the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) Giovanni system.   For the study, monthly SST data for the Caspian Sea were acquired for the year 2006.   Dr. Tarakanov used a "data generator" called the SST-simulator to model the daily evolution of SST in the Caspian Sea based on the monthly SST data.

The animated results can be viewed in a YouTube video, accompanied by the jazz piano piece "Boomerang" by Azerbaijani musician and composer Aziza Mustafa Zadeh (Wikipedia), "The Princess of Jazz".   The YouTube video address is   In the four-and-half-minute video, the progression of an entire year of SST in the Caspian Sea is shown, from winter temperatures of 6-10° C to summer temperatures of nearly 30° C.  

The accompanying image to this article shows SST in the transitional month of May 2006, when the central Caspian Sea is much cooler than the shallower northern and southern coastal areas.  The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth.  Aziza Mustafa Zadeh is from Baku, Azerbaijan, on a peninsula extending from the western coast of the central Caspian.   (And if you're really paying attention, Baku was a featured location in the James Bond movie "The World is Not Enough").

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Last updated: Jan 14, 2011 03:16 PM ET