Using Natural Earth Dataset As WMS

Using Natural Earth Dataset As WMS

This Question is about Natural Earth Project. I tried to do some research about creating my own WMS and came across this project. The web page says :

Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software.

How can I harvest the data for my WMS So that it can be used with Mapinfo or Other software?

Yes, see for more details.

2.1 This standard applies to departments as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act, unless excluded by specific acts, regulations or Orders in Council.

2.2 In this standard, any reference to all or part of national or international standards or specifications shall be construed as a reference to the most recent version of those standards or specifications, as well as any officially issued corrigendum. Any change to referenced national or international standards or specifications that affect this standard shall be implemented no later than one year after the effective date of the change.

2.3 Section 7.1 and the provisions in section 6.3.1 and 6.3.2 relating to the role of the Treasury Board Secretariat in monitoring compliance and directing consequences for non-compliance do not apply with respect to the Office of the Auditor General, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. The deputy heads of these organizations are solely responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the standard within their organizations, as well as for responding to cases of non-compliance in accordance with any Treasury Board instruments providing principles and guidance on the management of compliance.

Imagine deploying drones to assess disaster damage and gather data that can be instantly used to take action. Helping self-driving cars go where they’re supposed to go. Or taking augmented reality to a level where it could actually help solve problems in the real world. These are just a few of many applications made possible by geo-information science and earth observation (GEO).

From traditional map-making to creating modern data-driven solutions to real-world problems, this field offers an incredible variety of possible applications. That certainly helps to explain why a US Department of Labor report identified this industry as one with a projected job outlook that is much higher than average.

According to the new market research report "Geospatial Analytics Market" published by MarketsandMarkets™, the Geospatial Analytics Market size is projected to grow from USD 52.6 billion in 2020 to USD 96.3 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.9% during the forecast period. The major factors driving the growth of the Geospatial Analytics Market include the increasing number of AI and ML-based GIS solutions, development of smart cities and urbanization, increased deployment of IoT sensors across locations, and advancement of big data analytics for organizations by improving the workflow

Logically the job market, in the private and (semi-)public sector as well as academia, is expected to grow accordingly.


Watersheds are bounded by heights of land, which provide the definitive reference for many administrative boundaries and land tenures. Each stream in the Province of B.C. has its own watershed, but is also linked to the other streams and watersheds around it. The Freshwater Atlas allows users to connect a stream to both its tributaries and the watersheds associated with them.

This document provides the background, objectives, principles and production methods for a new standard delineation of assessment watersheds for British Columbia:

Using Natural Earth Dataset As WMS - Geographic Information Systems

Natural Hazards is devoted to original research work on all aspects of natural hazards, including the forecasting of catastrophic events, risk management, and the nature of precursors of natural and technological hazards.
Although hazards can originate in different sources and systems, such as atmospheric, hydrologic, oceanographic, volcanologic, seismic, neotectonic, the environmental impacts are equally catastrophic. This warrants a close interaction between different scientific and operational disciplines, aimed at enhancing the mitigation of hazards.
Coverage includes such categories of hazard as atmospheric, climatological, oceanographic, storm surges, tsunamis, floods, snow, avalanches, landslides, erosion, earthquakes, volcanoes, man-made and technological, as well as risk assessment.

The journal&rsquos objectives are also to endorse and align with the UN sustainable development goals 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), and 15 (Life on Land).

  • Presents original research work on all aspects of natural hazards of all origins – atmospheric, volcanic, seismic, oceanic and more
  • Coverage includes forecasting of catastrophic events, risk management, and the nature of precursors of natural and technological hazards
  • 97% of authors who answered a survey reported that they would definitely publish or probably publish in the journal again

Earth's Magnetic History

Sir James Clark Ross first discovered the North Magnetic Pole in northern Canada in 1831. Since 1831, the pole has been moving across the Canadian Arctic toward Russia. NCEI scientists with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder calculated the movement of both the North and South Magnetic Poles from 1590 to 2025 using two models: gufm1 and IGRF. Gufm1 incorporates thousands of magnetic observations taken by mariners engaged in merchant and naval shipping. The IGRF is the product of a collaborative effort between magnetic field modelers and the institutes involved in collecting and disseminating magnetic field data from satellites and from observatories and surveys around the world. A survey in 2007 by a Canadian–French international collaboration determined that the North Magnetic Pole was moving approximately north-northwest at 55 km per year . According to the latest IGRF, the Pole is currently moving in the same direction but at a slightly reduced speed of about 45 km per year.

NCEI and CIRES scientists created an animation showing changes in declination location and the “wandering” of the North Magnetic Pole over the last 50 years. Watch how the isogonic lines converge at the Pole. View historic data back to 1590 with our Map Viewer .

Using Natural Earth Dataset As WMS - Geographic Information Systems

Viewed from space, one of the most striking features of our home planet is the water, in both liquid and frozen forms, that covers approximately 75% of the Earth&rsquos surface. Geologic evidence suggests that large amounts of water have likely flowed on Earth for the past 3.8 billion years&mdashmost of its existence. Believed to have initially arrived on the surface through the emissions of ancient volcanoes, water is a vital substance that sets the Earth apart from the rest of the planets in our solar system. In particular, water appears to be a necessary ingredient for the development and nourishment of life.

Earth is a water planet: three-quarters of the surface is covered by water, and water-rich clouds fill the sky. (NASA.)

Water, Water, Everywhere

Water is practically everywhere on Earth. Moreover, it is the only known substance that can naturally exist as a gas, a liquid, and solid within the relatively small range of air temperatures and pressures found at the Earth&rsquos surface.

Water is the only common substance that can exist naturally as a gas, liquid, or solid at the relatively small range of temperatures and pressures found on the Earth&rsquos surface. Sometimes, all three states are even present in the same time and place, such as this wintertime eruption of a geyser in Yellowstone National Park. (Photograph ©2008 haglundc.)

In all, the Earth&rsquos water content is about 1.39 billion cubic kilometers (331 million cubic miles), with the bulk of it, about 96.5%, being in the global oceans. As for the rest, approximately 1.7% is stored in the polar icecaps, glaciers, and permanent snow, and another 1.7% is stored in groundwater, lakes, rivers, streams, and soil. Only a thousandth of 1% of the water on Earth exists as water vapor in the atmosphere.

Despite its small amount, this water vapor has a huge influence on the planet. Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, and it is a major driver of the Earth&rsquos weather and climate as it travels around the globe, transporting latent heat with it. Latent heat is heat obtained by water molecules as they transition from liquid or solid to vapor the heat is released when the molecules condense from vapor back to liquid or solid form, creating cloud droplets and various forms of precipitation.

Water vapor&mdashand with it energy&mdashis carried around the globe by weather systems. This satellite image shows the distribution of water vapor over Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. White areas have high concentrations of water vapor, while dark regions are relatively dry. The brightest white areas are towering thunderclouds. The image was acquired on the morning of September 2, 2010 by SEVIRI aboard METEOSAT-9. [Watch this animation (23 MB QuickTime) of similar data to see the movement of water vapor over time.] (Image ©2010 EUMETSAT.)

Estimate of Global Water Distribution Volume (1000 km 3 ) Percent of Total Water Percent of Fresh Water
Oceans, Seas, and Bays 1,338,000 96.5 -
Ice Caps, Glaciers, and Permanent Snow 24,064 1.74 68.7
Groundwater 23,400 1.7 -
Fresh (10,530) (0.76) 30.1
Saline (12,870) (0.94) -
Soil Moisture 16.5 0.001 0.05
Ground Ice and Permafrost 300 0.022 0.86
Lakes 176.4 0.013 -
Fresh (91.0) (0.007) .26
Saline (85.4) (0.006) -
Atmosphere 12.9 0.001 0.04
Swamp Water 11.47 0.0008 0.03
Rivers 2.12 0.0002 0.006
Biological Water 1.12 0.0001 0.003
Total 1,385,984 100.0 100.0
Source: Gleick, P. H., 1996: Water resources. In Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather, ed. by S. H. Schneider, Oxford University Press, New York, vol. 2, pp.817-823.

For human needs, the amount of freshwater on Earth&mdashfor drinking and agriculture&mdashis particularly important. Freshwater exists in lakes, rivers, groundwater, and frozen as snow and ice. Estimates of groundwater are particularly difficult to make, and they vary widely. (The value in the above table is near the high end of the range.)

Groundwater may constitute anywhere from approximately 22 to 30% of fresh water, with ice (including ice caps, glaciers, permanent snow, ground ice, and permafrost) accounting for most of the remaining 78 to 70%.

A Multi-Phased Journey

The water, or hydrologic, cycle describes the pilgrimage of water as water molecules make their way from the Earth&rsquos surface to the atmosphere and back again, in some cases to below the surface. This gigantic system, powered by energy from the Sun, is a continuous exchange of moisture between the oceans, the atmosphere, and the land.

Earth&rsquos water continuously moves through the atmosphere, into and out of the oceans, over the land surface, and underground. (Image courtesy NOAA National Weather Service Jetstream.)

Studies have revealed that evaporation&mdashthe process by which water changes from a liquid to a gas&mdashfrom oceans, seas, and other bodies of water (lakes, rivers, streams) provides nearly 90% of the moisture in our atmosphere. Most of the remaining 10% found in the atmosphere is released by plants through transpiration. Plants take in water through their roots, then release it through small pores on the underside of their leaves. In addition, a very small portion of water vapor enters the atmosphere through sublimation, the process by which water changes directly from a solid (ice or snow) to a gas. The gradual shrinking of snow banks in cases when the temperature remains below freezing results from sublimation.

Together, evaporation, transpiration, and sublimation, plus volcanic emissions, account for almost all the water vapor in the atmosphere that isn&rsquot inserted through human activities. While evaporation from the oceans is the primary vehicle for driving the surface-to-atmosphere portion of the hydrologic cycle, transpiration is also significant. For example, a cornfield 1 acre in size can transpire as much as 4,000 gallons of water every day.

After the water enters the lower atmosphere, rising air currents carry it upward, often high into the atmosphere, where the air is cooler. In the cool air, water vapor is more likely to condense from a gas to a liquid to form cloud droplets. Cloud droplets can grow and produce precipitation (including rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain, and hail), which is the primary mechanism for transporting water from the atmosphere back to the Earth&rsquos surface.

When precipitation falls over the land surface, it follows various routes in its subsequent paths. Some of it evaporates, returning to the atmosphere some seeps into the ground as soil moisture or groundwater and some runs off into rivers and streams. Almost all of the water eventually flows into the oceans or other bodies of water, where the cycle continues. At different stages of the cycle, some of the water is intercepted by humans or other life forms for drinking, washing, irrigating, and a large variety of other uses.

Groundwater is found in two broadly defined layers of the soil, the &ldquozone of aeration,&rdquo where gaps in the soil are filled with both air and water, and, further down, the &ldquozone of saturation,&rdquo where the gaps are completely filled with water. The boundary between these two zones is known as the water table, which rises or falls as the amount of groundwater changes.

The amount of water in the atmosphere at any moment in time is only 12,900 cubic kilometers, a minute fraction of Earth&rsquos total water supply: if it were to completely rain out, atmospheric moisture would cover the Earth&rsquos surface to a depth of only 2.5 centimeters. However, far more water&mdashin fact, some 495,000 cubic kilometers of it&mdashare cycled through the atmosphere every year. It is as if the entire amount of water in the air were removed and replenished nearly 40 times a year.

This map shows the distribution of water vapor throughout the depth of the atmosphere during August 2010. Even the wettest regions would form a layer of water only 60 millimeters deep if it were condensed at the surface. (NASA image by Robert Simmon, using AIRS & AMSU data.)

Water continually evaporates, condenses, and precipitates, and on a global basis, evaporation approximately equals precipitation. Because of this equality, the total amount of water vapor in the atmosphere remains approximately the same over time. However, over the continents, precipitation routinely exceeds evaporation, and conversely, over the oceans, evaporation exceeds precipitation.

In the case of the oceans, the continual excess of evaporation versus precipitation would eventually leave the oceans empty if they were not being replenished by additional means. Not only are they being replenished, largely through runoff from the land areas, but over the past 100 years, they have been over-replenished: sea level around the globe has risen approximately 17 centimeters over the course of the twentieth century.

Sea level has been rising over the past century, partly due to thermal expansion of the ocean as it warms, and partly due to the melting of glaciers and ice caps. (Graph ©2010 Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization.)

Sea level has risen both because of warming of the oceans, causing water to expand and increase in volume, and because more water has been entering the ocean than the amount leaving it through evaporation or other means. A primary cause for increased mass of water entering the ocean is the calving or melting of land ice (ice sheets and glaciers). Sea ice is already in the ocean, so increases or decreases in the annual amount of sea ice do not significantly affect sea level.

Blackfoot (left) and Jackson (right) glaciers, both in the mountains of Glacier National Park, were joined along their margins in 1914, but have since retreated into separate alpine cirques. The melting of glacial ice is a major contributor to sea level rise. [Photographs by E. B. Stebinger, Glacier National Park archives (1911), and Lisa McKeon, USGS (2009).]

Throughout the hydrologic cycle, there are many paths that a water molecule might follow. Water at the bottom of Lake Superior may eventually rise into the atmosphere and fall as rain in Massachusetts. Runoff from the Massachusetts rain may drain into the Atlantic Ocean and circulate northeastward toward Iceland, destined to become part of a floe of sea ice, or, after evaporation to the atmosphere and precipitation as snow, part of a glacier.

Water molecules can take an immense variety of routes and branching trails that lead them again and again through the three phases of ice, liquid water, and water vapor. For instance, the water molecules that once fell 100 years ago as rain on your great- grandparents&rsquo farmhouse in Iowa might now be falling as snow on your driveway in California.

The Water Cycle and Climate Change

Among the most serious Earth science and environmental policy issues confronting society are the potential changes in the Earth&rsquos water cycle due to climate change. The science community now generally agrees that the Earth&rsquos climate is undergoing changes in response to natural variability, including solar variability, and increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols. Furthermore, agreement is widespread that these changes may profoundly affect atmospheric water vapor concentrations, clouds, precipitation patterns, and runoff and stream flow patterns.

Global climate change will affect the water cycle, likely creating perennial droughts in some areas and frequent floods in others. (Photograph ©2008 Garry Schlatter.)

For example, as the lower atmosphere becomes warmer, evaporation rates will increase, resulting in an increase in the amount of moisture circulating throughout the troposphere (lower atmosphere). An observed consequence of higher water vapor concentrations is the increased frequency of intense precipitation events, mainly over land areas. Furthermore, because of warmer temperatures, more precipitation is falling as rain rather than snow.

One expected effect of climate change will be an increase in precipitation intensity: a larger proportion of rain will fall in a shorter amount of time than it has historically. Blue represents areas where climate models predict an increase in intensity by the end of the 21st century, brown represents a predicted decrease. (Map adapted from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.)

In parts of the Northern Hemisphere, an earlier arrival of spring-like conditions is leading to earlier peaks in snowmelt and resulting river flows. As a consequence, seasons with the highest water demand, typically summer and fall, are being impacted by a reduced availability of fresh water.

Changes in water runoff into rivers and streams are another expected consequence of climate change by the late 21st Century. This map shows predicted increases in runoff in blue, and decreases in brown and red. (Map by Robert Simmon, using data from Chris Milly, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.)

Warmer temperatures have led to increased drying of the land surface in some areas, with the effect of an increased incidence and severity of drought. The Palmer Drought Severity Index, which is a measure of soil moisture using precipitation measurements and rough estimates of changes in evaporation, has shown that from 1900 to 2002, the Sahel region of Africa has been experiencing harsher drought conditions. This same index also indicates an opposite trend in southern South America and the south central United States.

Shifts in the water cycle occurred over the past century due to a combination of natural variations and human forcings. From 1900 to 2002, droughts worsened in Sub-Saharan and southern Africa, eastern Brazil, and Iran (brown). Over the same period western Russia, south-eastern South America, Scandinavia, and the southern United States had less severe droughts (green). (Map adapted from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.)

While the brief scenarios described above represent a small portion of the observed changes in the water cycle, it should be noted that many uncertainties remain in the prediction of future climate. These uncertainties derive from the sheer complexity of the climate system, insufficient and incomplete data sets, and inconsistent results given by current climate models. However, state of the art (but still incomplete and imperfect) climate models do consistently predict that precipitation will become more variable, with increased risks of drought and floods at different times and places.

Observing the Water Cycle

Orbiting satellites are now collecting data relevant to all aspects of the hydrologic cycle, including evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, and runoff. NASA even has one satellite, Aqua, named specifically for the information it is collecting about the many components of the water cycle.

Aqua launched on May 4, 2002, with six Earth-observing instruments: the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), the Humidity Sounder for Brazil (HSB), the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and Clouds and the Earth&rsquos Radiant Energy System (CERES).

NASA&rsquos Aqua satellite carries a suite of instruments designed primarily to study the water cycle. (NASA image by Marit Jentoft-Nilsen.)

Since water vapor is the Earth&rsquos primary greenhouse gas, and it contributes significantly to uncertainties in projections of future global warming, it is critical to understand how it varies in the Earth system. In the first years of the Aqua mission, AIRS, AMSU, and HSB provided space-based measurements of atmospheric temperature and water vapor that were more accurate than any obtained before the sensors also made measurements from more altitudes than any previous sensor. The HSB is no longer operational, but the AIRS/AMSU system continues to provide high-quality atmospheric temperature and water vapor measurements.

Aqua&rsquos AIRS and AMSU instruments measure relative humidity at multiple pressure levels, which correspond to altitude. Near the surface (100 kPa), the air above the ocean is almost saturated with water, while it is dry above Australia. It is generally drier higher in the atmosphere (60 kPa), except where convection lifts moisture aloft. At the lower edge of the stratosphere (10 kPa) the air is almost universally dry. (NASA maps by Robert Simmon, based on AIRS/AMSU data.)

More recent studies using AIRS data have demonstrated that most of the warming caused by carbon dioxide does not come directly from carbon dioxide, but rather from increased water vapor and other factors that amplify the initial warming. Other studies have shown improved estimation of the landfall of a hurricane in the Bay of Bengal by incorporating AIRS temperature measurements, and improved understanding of large-scale atmospheric patterns such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation.

In addition to their importance to our weather, clouds play a major role in regulating Earth&rsquos climate system. MODIS, CERES, and AIRS all collect data relevant to the study of clouds. The cloud data include the height and area of clouds, the liquid water they contain, and the sizes of cloud droplets and ice particles. The size of cloud particles affects how they reflect and absorb incoming sunlight, and the reflectivity (albedo) of clouds plays a major role in Earth&rsquos energy balance.

High, thin cirrus clouds reflect relatively little sunlight back into space compared to the amount reflected by thick cumulus clouds. This map shows the reflectivity of cirrus clouds [with a maximum of 30 percent (shown in white)] during March of 2010. (Map by Robert Simmon, using data from the MODIS Atmosphere Team.)

One of the many variables AMSR-E monitors is global precipitation. The sensor measures microwave energy, some of which passes through clouds, and so the sensor can detect the rainfall even under the clouds.

Water in the atmosphere is hardly the only focus of the Aqua mission. Among much else, AMSR-E and MODIS are being used to study sea ice. Sea ice is important to the Earth system not just as an important element in the habitat of polar bears, penguins, and some species of seals, but also because it can insulate the underlying liquid water against heat loss to the often frigid overlying polar atmosphere and because it reflects sunlight that would otherwise be available to warm the ocean.

When it comes to sea ice, AMSR-E and MODIS provide complementary information. AMSR-E doesn&rsquot record as much detail about ice features as MODIS does, but it can distinguish ice versus open water even when it is cloudy. The AMSR-E measurements continue, with improved resolution and accuracy, a satellite record of changes in the extent of polar ice that extends back to the 1970s.

AMSR-E and MODIS also provide monitoring of snow coverage over land, another key indicator of climate change. As with sea ice, AMSR-E allows routine monitoring of the snow, irrespective of cloud cover, but with less spatial detail, while MODIS sees greater spatial detail, but only under cloud-free conditions.

As for liquid water on land, AMSR-E provides information about soil moisture, which is crucial for vegetation including agricultural crops. AMSR-E&rsquos monitoring of soil moisture globally permits, for example, the early identification of signs of drought.

More Water Cycle Observations

Aqua is the most comprehensive of NASA&rsquos water cycle missions, but it isn&rsquot alone. In fact, the Terra satellite also has MODIS and CERES instruments onboard, and several other spacecraft have made or are making unique water-cycle measurements.

The Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) was launched in January 2003, and it collected data on the topography of the Earth&rsquos ice sheets, clouds, vegetation, and the thickness of sea ice off and on until October 2009. A new ICESat mission, ICESat-2, is now under development and is scheduled to launch in 2015.

ICESat&rsquos precise observation of the surface elevation of Arctic sea ice enabled measurement of ice thickness. These images show that sea ice thinned from fall 2003 to fall 2008. Dark blue areas are thin ice, white areas are thick ice, gray regions are land, and light blue south of the ice pack represents open water. (NASA images by the NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio, using ICESat data.)

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) is a unique mission that consists of two spacecraft orbiting one behind the other changes in the distance between the two provide information about the gravity field on the Earth below. Because gravity depends on mass, some of the changes in gravity over time signal a shift in water from one place on Earth to another. Through measurements of changing gravity fields, GRACE scientists are able to derive information about changes in the mass of ice sheets and glaciers and even changes in groundwater around the world.

These GRACE data show monthly gravity differences calculated from a 2003-2007 baseline. The big contrasts in the Amazon are due to seasonal changes in rainfall. (NASA maps by Robert Simmon, using GRACE data.)

CloudSat is advancing scientists&rsquo understanding of cloud abundance, distribution, structure, and radiative properties (how they absorb and emit energy, including thermal infrared energy escaping from Earth&rsquos surface). Since 2006, CloudSat has flown the first satellite-based, millimeter-wavelength cloud radar&mdashan instrument that is 1000 times more sensitive than existing weather radars on the ground. Unlike ground-based weather radars that use centimeter wavelengths to detect raindrop-sized particles, CloudSat&rsquos radar allows the detection of the much smaller particles of liquid water and ice in the large cloud masses that contribute significantly to our weather.

CloudSat&rsquos radar measures the vertical distribution of clouds, such as this profile of Hurricane Julia. (NASA image by Jesse Allen, based on MODIS and CloudSat data.)

The joint NASA and French Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) is providing new insight into the role that clouds and atmospheric aerosols (particles like dust and pollution) play in regulating Earth&rsquos weather, climate, and air quality. CALIPSO combines an active laser instrument with passive infrared and visible imagers to probe the vertical structure and properties of thin clouds and aerosols over the globe.

CloudSat (top) and CALIPSO (lower) are two satellites providing detailed views of the structure of clouds. (NASA images by Marit Jentoft-Nilsen.)

Using Natural Earth Dataset As WMS - Geographic Information Systems

ERA5 provides hourly estimates of a large number of atmospheric, land and oceanic climate variables. The data cover the Earth on a 30km grid and resolve the atmosphere using 137 levels from the surface up to a height of 80km. ERA5 includes information about uncertainties for all variables at reduced spatial and temporal resolutions.

Quality-assured monthly updates of ERA5 (1979 to present) are published within 3 months of real time. Preliminary daily updates of the dataset are available to users within 5 days of real time.

The preliminary ERA5 dataset from 1950 to 1978 is now available on the Climate data store (CDS).

ERA5 combines vast amounts of historical observations into global estimates using advanced modelling and data assimilation systems.

ERA5 replaces the ERA-Interim reanalysis which stopped being produced on 31 August 2019. You can read about the key characteristics of ERA5 and important changes relative to ERA-Interim.

How Big Is Earth?

Earth, the third planet from the sun, is the fifth-largest planet in the solar system only the gas giants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are bigger. Earth is the largest of the terrestrial planets of the inner solar system, bigger than Mercury, Venus and Mars. But how big is Earth, exactly?

Radius, diameter and circumference

The radius of Earth at the equator is 3,963 miles (6,378 kilometers), according to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. However, Earth is not quite a sphere. The planet's rotation causes it to bulge at the equator. Earth's polar radius is 3,950 miles (6,356 km) &mdash a difference of 13 miles (22 km).

Using those measurements, the equatorial circumference of Earth is about 24,901 miles (40,075 km). However, from pole to pole &mdash the meridional circumference &mdash Earth is only 24,860 miles (40,008 km) around. Our planet's shape, caused by the flattening at the poles, is called an oblate spheroid.

Those numbers make Earth just slightly bigger than Venus, whose equatorial radius is about 3,761 miles (6,052 km). Mars is much smaller than both Earth and Venus, with an equatorial radius of just 2,110 miles (3,396 km).

But Earth and the other rocky planets are much smaller than the gas giants. For example, more than 1,300 Earths could fit inside Jupiter.

Density, mass and volume

Earth's density is 5.513 grams per cubic centimeter, according to NASA. Earth is the densest planet in the solar system because of its metallic core and rocky mantle. Jupiter, which is 318 more massive than Earth, is less dense because it is made primarily of gases, such as hydrogen.

Earth's mass is 6.6 sextillion tons (5.9722 x 10 24 kilograms). Its volume is about 260 billion cubic miles (1 trillion cubic kilometers).

The total surface area of Earth is about 197 million square miles (510 million square km). About 71% of our planet is covered by water and 29% by land. For comparison, the total surface area of Venus is roughly 178 million square miles (460 million square km) , and that of Mars is about 56 million square miles (144 million square km)

Highest and lowest points

Mount Everest is the highest place on Earth above sea level, at 29,032 feet (8,849 meters), but it is not the highest point on Earth &mdash that is, the place most distant from the center of the Earth. That distinction belongs to Mount Chimaborazo in the Andes Mountains in Ecuador, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Although Chimaborazo is about 10,000 feet (3,048 m) shorter (relative to sea level) than Everest, this mountain is about 6,800 feet (2,073 m) farther into space because of the equatorial bulge.

Everest and Chimborazo are nowhere near the tallest mountains in the solar system, however. The peak rising from Rheasilvia Crater on the asteroid Vesta, for example, is about 14 miles (22.5 km) tall. Mars' huge Olympus Mons volcano is nearly as high, at 13.6 miles (21.9 km), and it covers an area the size of the state of Arizona.

The lowest point on Earth is Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean, according to NOAA. It reaches down about 36,200 feet (11,034 m) below sea level.

April Global Temperature Change *

April Rankings: 1880 - 2021 Temperature Record
Comparisons with 20th Century Global Average Surface Temperature(Temperatures are not compared here with a pre-industrial baseline)

Change in Temperature*

Warmest April
+1.12°C +2.02°F
9th Warmest April
+0.79°C +1.42°F
Coolest April
-0.60°C -1.08°F

*Surface temperature changes relative to 20th Century global average (1901 - 2000)
Source data NOAA-NCDC State of the Climate: Global Analysis [Web + data download]

Monthly Temperature: April 2021

"The April 2021 global surface temperature was 0.79°C (1.42°F) above the 20th century average of 13.7°C (56.7°F). This was the smallest value for April since 2013 and was the ninth warmest April in the 142-year record. April 2021 marked the 45th consecutive April and the 436th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average. December 1984 was the last time a monthly temperature was below average.

Global Land and Ocean Temperature Anomalies for April

Warmer-than-average temperatures were observed across much of the world's land and ocean surfaces, with the most notable warm anomalies across eastern Canada, southern South America, northwestern and southwestern Asia, and southern Africa, where temperatures were at least 2.5°C (4.5°F) above average. Record-warm April temperatures were present across parts of southern South America, southern Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This encompassed only 2.44% of the world's surface with a record-warm April temperature—the smallest percentage since April 2013."

Dec. 2020: Columbia University Reports Observed Acceleration in Global Warming:

"Abstratct: Record global temperature in 2020, despite a strong La Niña in recent months, reaffirms a global warming acceleration that is too large to be unforced noise – it implies an increased growth rate of the total global climate forcing and Earth’s energy imbalance. Growth of measured forcings (greenhouse gases plus solar irradiance) decreased during the period of increased warming, implying that atmospheric aerosols probably decreased in the past decade. There is a need for accurate aerosol measurements and improved monitoring of Earth’s energy imbalance.

November 2020 was the warmest November in the period of instrumental data, thus jumping 2020 ahead of 2016 in the 11-month averages. December 2016 was relatively cool, so it is clear that 2020 will slightly edge 2016 for the warmest year, at least in the GISTEMP analysis. The rate of global warming accelerated in the past 6-7 years (Fig. 2). The deviation of the 5-year (60 month) running mean from the linear warming rate is large and persistent it implies an increase in the net climate forcing and Earth’s energy imbalance, which drive global warming."

Fig. 2. Global temperature and Ni ñ o3.4 Index through November 2020.

"The science is sobering—the global temperature in 2012 was among the hottest since records began in 1880. Make no mistake: without concerted action, the very future of our planet is in peril."

Christine Lagarde, in 2012
Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

NOAA annual global analysis for 2020:

"With a slightly cooler end to the year, the year 2020 secured the rank of second warmest year in the 141-year record, with a global land and ocean surface temperature departure from average of +0.98°C (+1.76°F). This value is only 0.02°C (0.04°F) shy of tying the record high value of +1.00°C (+1.80°F) set in 2016 and only 0.03°C (0.05°F) above the now third warmest year on record set in 2019. The seven warmest years in the 1880–2020 record have all occurred since 2014, while the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005. The year 1998 is no longer among the 10 warmest years on record, currently ranking as the 11th warmest year in the 141-year record. The year 2020 marks the 44th consecutive year (since 1977) with global land and ocean temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th century average.

The decadal global land and ocean surface average temperature anomaly for 2011–2020 was the warmest decade on record for the globe, with a surface global temperature of +0.82°C (+1.48°F) above the 20th century average. This surpassed the previous decadal record (2001–2010) value of +0.62°C (+1.12°F).

The global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.08°C (0.14°F) per decade since 1880 and over twice that rate (+0.18°C / +0.32°F) since 1981.

The 2020 Northern Hemisphere land and ocean surface temperature was the highest in the 141-year record at +1.28°C (+2.30°F) above average. This was 0.06°C (0.11°F) higher than the previous record set in 2016. Meanwhile, the annual Southern Hemisphere land and ocean surface temperature was the fifth highest on record."

"Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much."

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies [NASA post of January 20, 2016]

Before the end of 2015, scientists projected that average global temperature increase for 2015 will exceed 1°C above pre-industrial levels. The years 1850-1900 are used as the pre-industrial baseline by the MET Office and Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK. The MET Office released this statement in November 2015:

Watch the video: Use PostGIS Editor to explore Natural Earth