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Published on Oct 16, 2007
The uneven heating also controls weather systems. The heat absorbed by the oceans and carried by its currents is constantly being released into the atmosphere. This heat and moisture drive atmospheric circulation and set weather patterns in motion. The weather patterns then influence vegetation, as well as erosion and sediment transport. Ever since the first photos were sent back from space, our view of Earth has changed. Remote sensing instruments, such as satellites, allow us to better understand the interrelationships between the different subsystems. For instance, recordings made by remote and Earth-based instruments show that significant surface warming has occurred over the past three decades. Knowing this, scientists are working to determine how this will affect — and already is affecting — the entire Earth system. astronomy