Life. It’s the one thing that, so far, makes Earth unique among the thousands of other planets we’ve discovered. Since the fall of 1997, NASA satellites have continuously and globally observed all plant life at the surface of the land and ocean.
In the Northern Hemisphere, ecosystems wake up in the spring, taking in carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen as they sprout leaves. Meanwhile, in the oceans, microscopic plants drift through the sunlit surface waters and bloom into billions of carbon dioxide-absorbing organisms — and light-detecting instruments on satellites maps all of this.
This video shows that process, on a planetary scale.
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