You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Italians had decided to grow nothing but poppies and tomatoes from this picture — but in fact you’re looking at an image from Sentinel-2A, where healthy vegetation shows up as red rather than green.
Plants grown and sustain themselves through photosynthesis—a seemingly invisible process that converts sunlight into energy. Now, NASA scientists have developed a way to measure photosynthesis from satellites with unprecedented detail.
This is a new kind of satellite image of the Earth, showing nothing but vegetation. It allows us to track just how fecund the planet is — and to spot trouble regions where crop growth may soon be hindered by drought. Soon, images like these could become a crucial part of food security.
This picture might look like an incomplete map of the world, but it is in fact the highest resolution view ever of all the world's plant life, mapped out by NASA's Suomi NPP satellite.
Take away all of the water, cities, and roads on Earth's surface, and you're left with nothing but patches of lush, lovely green. These are exactly the kinds of pictures that the Suomi NPP satellite from NASA and the NOAA, produce. The satellite tracks only the planet's vegetation, and the video above covers the shift…
It's hard to imagine, but about 55 million years ago, Antarctica was ice-free and full of lush forests. Now analysis of ancient pollen has revealed when the last Antarctic vegetation died out...and what's next for the continents's vast ice sheets.