Earth Day 2020: Biosphere

  • Released Tuesday, April 21st, 2020
  • Updated Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 12:16AM
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By monitoring the color of reflected light via satellite, scientists can determine how successfully plant life is photosynthesizing. A measurement of photosynthesis is essentially a measurement of successful growth, and growth means successful use of ambient carbon. This data visualization represents twenty years' worth of data taken primarily by SeaStar/SeaWiFS, Aqua/MODIS, and Suomi NPP/VIIRS satellite sensors, showing the abundance of life both on land and in the sea. In the ocean, dark blue to violet represents warmer areas where there is little life due to lack of nutrients, and greens and reds represent cooler nutrient-rich areas. The nutrient-rich areas include coastal regions where cold water rises from the sea floor bringing nutrients along and areas at the mouths of rivers where the rivers have brought nutrients into the ocean from the land. On land, green represents areas of abundant plant life, such as forests and grasslands, while tan and white represent areas where plant life is sparse or non-existent, such as the deserts in Africa and the Middle East and snow-cover and ice at the poles.

Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) colorbar. More commonly known as Land Vegetation.

Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) colorbar. More commonly known as Land Vegetation.



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, The SeaWiFS Project and GeoEye, Scientific Visualization Studio. NOTE: All SeaWiFS images and data presented on this web site are for research and educational use only. All commercial use of SeaWiFS data must be coordinated with GeoEye (NOTE: In January 2013, DigitalGlobe and GeoEye combined to become DigitalGlobe).


Series

This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

  • SeaStar Chlorophyll Concentration

    ID: 469
    Collected with SeaWiFS 1997/09 - 2007/11

    All SeaWiFS images and data presented on this web site are for research and educational use only. All commercial use of SeaWiFS data must be coordinated with GeoEye.

    Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, The SeaWiFS Project and GeoEye, Scientific Visualization Studio. NOTE: All SeaWiFS images and data presented on this web site are for research and educational use only. All commercial use of SeaWiFS data must be coordinated with GeoEye (NOTE: In January 2013, DigitalGlobe and GeoEye combined to become one DigitalGlobe.).

    This dataset can be found at: http://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/PRODUCTS/

    See all pages that use this dataset
  • Comiso's Daily Sea Ice Concentration

    ID: 539
    Data Compilation NASA/GSFC 1997/9 - 2017/9
  • SeaStar NDVI

    ID: 601
    Collected with SeaWiFS 1997/09 - 2007/11

    All SeaWiFS images and data presented on this web site are for research and educational use only. All commercial use of SeaWiFS data must be coordinated with GeoEye.

    Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, The SeaWiFS Project and GeoEye, Scientific Visualization Studio. NOTE: All SeaWiFS images and data presented on this web site are for research and educational use only. All commercial use of SeaWiFS data must be coordinated with GeoEye (NOTE: In January 2013, DigitalGlobe and GeoEye combined to become one DigitalGlobe.).

    See all pages that use this dataset
  • Aqua NDVI

    ID: 739
    Data Compilation Collected with MODIS 2007/10 - 2012/2
  • Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) IMS Daily Northern Hemisphere Snow and Ice Analysis (IMS Daily Northern Hemisphere Snow and Ice Analysis - 24 km Resolution)

    ID: 778
    Analysis NOAA 1997/9 - 2017/9
  • Aqua chlor_a (Chlorophyll Concentration OCl)

    ID: 935
    Collected with MODIS 2007/10 - 2012/2

    Credit: Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG)

    This dataset can be found at: http://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/cms/atbd/chlor_a

    See all pages that use this dataset
  • Suomi NPP Chlorophyll (Chlorophyll Concentration)

    ID: 987
    Observed Data Collected with VIIRS 2012/2 - 2017/9
  • Suomi NPP Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)

    ID: 988
    Analysis Collected with VIIRS 2012/2 - 2017/9

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.