Blue Marble images on the IPCC 4th assessment report (2007)

The Blue Marble western and eastern hemispheres by Reto Stöckli (NASA Earth Observatory) are displayed to the left as printed on the front cover of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 4th assessment WGI report “The Physical Science Basis”.


These images integrate land, ocean, sea ice and clouds into a visual representation of the earth’s climate system. They are based on space-borne earth observation data from NASA’s MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) sensor aboard the TERRA and AQUA satellites.

The visualizations of both hemispheres were created using the Blue Marble Next Generation (BMNG, 2005). The BMNG resolves 500 m per pixel and is the successor of the Blue Marble (2002) project providing a set of layers covering the earth’s climate system. Both datasets are still the most detailed continuous and seamless true-color images of the Earth’s surface ever produced.

I hope that you also feel inspired by these images and find them useful. They exemplify the comprehensive global observing capabilities of today’s state-of-the-art satellite sensors. They also display the beauty and diversity of the Earth as a combined and interrelated system.

Visual perception of Earth system dynamics can foster interest to further explore the underlying science. Furthermore such visualizations can help to increase public understanding and awareness of causes and effects of changes in Earth’s climate system.

The images and underlying datasets are provided at no cost to the public and there are no restrictions for commercial purposes. You’re welcome to send complimentary copies of products where you have applied these images. The high resolution  versions can be found here.

Citation: “Blue Marble Imagery by Reto Stöckli (NASA Earth Observatory) “