Although 75 percent of the planet is a relatively unchanging ocean of blue, the remaining 25 percent of Earth’s surface is a dynamic green. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ’s Environmental Visualization Laboratory, in conjunction with NASA, uses satellite data to create vegetation indices. Data from a sensor aboard the Suomi NPP satellite detects subtle differences in greenness. The darkest areas are the lushest in vegetation, and the pale colors are sparse.
The world NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Laboratory says: Many indices that measure vegetation are calculated by using satellite data to compare the relative difference between how much energy is absorbed by the land surface vs. how much is reflected back into space. NASA/NOAA Buy Photo