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We often take the Biosphere for granted and as the climate changes, plant species and ecosystems respond by adapting, migrating or reducing their population. Why is this important? The plants of the Biosphere feed us, clothe us, absorb carbon dioxide, provide us with oxygen,
The colors on these maps show a measure of the "greenness" of Earth's landscapes. The values on these maps—ranging from -0.1 to 0.9—have no unit.
An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the Atmosphere travels around the globe. Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources.
Fire is a powerful force on our planet. From South America's rainforests to Africa's savannas and Australia's highlands, fires touch 30 percent of the land surface. Yet whether naturally occurring or set by humans, fires' effects reach far beyond ravaged lands.
Identifying cause and effect relationships can help us make predictions about the function of natural systems and their impact on the world. These relationships, whether simple or complex, are vital for forecasting weather and predicting Earth events in new contexts.
The Earth's system exemplifies stability and change. Change and rates of change can be observed and quantified over very short or long periods of time and at various spatial scales (e.g., from landscape level to global processes).
Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is affected, among other things, by processes involving forests including fires, deforestation and plant respiration. Evaluate a Landsat image to determine the rate of carbon dioxide sequestration in a particular area.
The Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) instrument aboard the Seastar satellite collected ocean data for more than a decade.
Turbulent storms churn the ocean in winter, adding nutrients to sunlit waters near the surface. Each spring this gives rise to massive blooms of phytoplankton. These microscopic plants harvest vital energy from sunlight through photosynthesis.
The fires in Greece during the summer of 2007 devastated large tracks of forest and ground cover in this Mediterranean region. These before (left) and after (right) images were taken on July 18 and September 4 by Landsat-7. The red areas show the extent of the biomass loss from the fires.