Earth  ID: 4596

20 Years of Global Biosphere (updated)

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.

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Visualization Credits

Alex Kekesi (GST): Lead Data Visualizer
Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC): Data Visualizer
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Data Visualizer
Cindy Starr (GST): Data Visualizer
Gene Feldman (NASA/GSFC): Lead Scientist
Compton Tucker (NASA/GSFC): Lead Scientist
LK Ward (USRA): Lead Producer
Patrick Lynch (NASA/GSFC): Producer
Norman Kuring (NASA/GSFC): Lead Data Provider
George Riggs (SSAI): Data Provider
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).

Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG)

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Data Used:
Suomi NPP/VIIRS/NDVI 2012/2 - 2017/9
Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Chlorophyll Concentration 2012/2 - 2017/9
Aqua/MODIS/Chlorophyll Concentration OCl 2007/10 - 2012/2
Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS)/IMS Daily Northern Hemisphere Snow and Ice Analysis - 24 km Resolution 1997/9 - 2017/9
Aqua/MODIS/NDVI 2007/10 - 2012/2
SeaStar/SeaWiFS/NDVI 1997/09 - 2007/11
Comiso's Daily Sea Ice Concentration 1997/9 - 2017/9
SeaStar/SeaWiFS/Chlorophyll Concentration 1997/09 - 2007/11
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.

DLESE >> Biological oceanography
DLESE >> Cryology
DLESE >> Ecology
DLESE >> Physical oceanography
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Sea Ice
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Oceans >> Sea Ice
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Photosynthesis
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Microbiota Taxonomy >> Phytoplankton
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Sea Ice >> Sea Ice Concentration
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Snow/Ice >> Snow Cover
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Snow/Ice >> Snow Cover
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Oceans >> Ocean Optics >> Ocean Color
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> SeaWiFS
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Plant Growth
SVS >> Producer
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Presentation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Terrestrial Hydrosphere >> Snow/ice >> Snow Cover
NASA Earth Science Focus Areas >> Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version