Earth Day 2020: Biosphere

  • Released Tuesday, April 21, 2020
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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).

Release date

This page was originally published on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
This page was last updated on Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 12:13 AM EDT.


Series

This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

  • Chlorophyll Concentration [SeaStar: SeaWiFS]

    ID: 469
    Sensor: SeaWiFSDates used: 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
    Type: Data CompilationDates used: 1997/09 - 2007/11
  • NDVI [SeaStar: SeaWiFS]

    ID: 601
    Sensor: SeaWiFSDates used: 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
  • NDVI [Aqua: MODIS]

    ID: 739
    Type: Data CompilationSensor: MODISDates used: 2007/10 - 2012/2
  • IMS Daily Northern Hemisphere Snow and Ice Analysis (IMS Daily Northern Hemisphere Snow and Ice Analysis - 24 km Resolution) [Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS)]

    ID: 778
    Type: AnalysisDates used: 1997/9 - 2017/9
  • chlor_a (Chlorophyll Concentration OCl) [Aqua: MODIS]

    ID: 935
    Sensor: MODISDates used: 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
  • Chlorophyll (Chlorophyll Concentration) [Suomi NPP: VIIRS]

    ID: 987
    Type: Observed DataSensor: VIIRSDates used: 2012/2 - 2017/9
  • Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) [Suomi NPP: VIIRS]

    ID: 988
    Type: AnalysisSensor: VIIRSDates used: 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.