Can you spot the global warming, er climate change, er #poisonedweather in this picture?

Al Gore finally got something done. Remember those pictures we used to get as children, such as “Can you spot the cow in this picture?” Well, Al Gore finally succeeded in creating one of those.


Earth as seen on July 6, 2015 from a distance of one million miles by a NASA scientific camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory spacecraft. Credits: NASA

Can you see the devastating effects of climate change? Can you spot the #poisonedweather that the “Forecast The Facts” eco-zealots are always wailing about on Twitter?

Gore said in an Atlantic interview this week:

Gore said that, seeing the first picture on Monday, he felt gratitude to everyone who worked to put the craft into orbit. Be he also “felt something of the same emotion that I felt when I saw the first Blue Marble photo 42 and a half years ago, when I saw the first Earthrise image just four years prior to that.”

“It’s not an accident that that first image, called Earthrise, led to the passage of major environmental laws in the United States during the presidency of Richard Nixon, nor is it a coincidence that the first Earth Day was organized less than a year and a half after that first picture was seen. It changed, that picture changed, the way we thought about ourselves and our relationship to the Earth,” said Gore.

Yep, it’s all about the emotion, science takes a backseat in Gore’s mind.

Readers may recall Al’s big plan to get a satellite to take pictures of the Earth regularly:

The satellite’s original purpose was to provide a near-continuous view of the entire Earth and make that live image available via the Internet. Gore hoped not only to advance science with these images, but also to raise awareness of the Earth itself, updating the influential The Blue Marble photograph taken by Apollo 17.

The New York Times said in 2006:

Scientists had dreamed of such an observatory for years. They hoped Mr. Gore’s influence would make it happen. Mr. Gore’s support would end up destroying it. Those who hated him, hated Triana. His dream of inspiring environmentalists and schoolchildren served only to trivialize the project. It was ridiculed as “Gore’s screen saver.”

Indeed.Today, after Goresat being shelved for over a decade, at the NYT they write:

Now, the Deep Space Climate Observatory, or Dscovr for short, will be taking such photographs on a regular basis, always over the dayside of Earth. The first was released on Monday.

The spacecraft started out as “Triana,” a pet project of former Vice President Al Gore in 1998 who thought it would be inspirational and educational for a satellite to continually send back a view of a changing Earth from almost a million miles away. Opponents derided it as “GoreSat,” and the finished spacecraft was put in storage.

It was resurrected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to look the other way, at the sun, to serve as a sentinel of oncoming solar storms.

Well in addition to sending back pretty pictures of Earth every so often, the GoreSat has been re-purposed to do some actual solar science. From the mission page:

The Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, will maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of NOAA’s space weather alerts and forecasts. Without timely and accurate warnings, space weather events like the geomagnetic storms caused by changes in solar wind have the potential to disrupt nearly every major public infrastructure system, including power grids, telecommunications, aviation and GPS.

DSCOVR will succeed NASA’s Advanced Composition Explore’s (ACE) role in supporting solar wind alerts and warnings from the L1 orbit, the neutral gravity point between the Earth and sun approximately one million miles from Earth. L1 is a good position from which to monitor the sun, because the constant stream of particles from the sun (the solar wind) reaches L1 about an hour before reaching Earth.

From this position, DSCOVR will typically be able to provide 15 to 60 minute warning time before the surge of particles and magnetic field, known as a coronal mass ejection (or CME), associated with a geomagnetic storm reaches Earth. DSCOVR data will also be used to improve predictions of geomagnetic storm impact locations. Our national security and economic well-being, which depend on advanced technologies, are at risk without these advanced warnings.

pdf iconProgram Overview Information Sheet [pdf]

Here is the NASA press release on the new “blue marble” image”

A NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has returned its first view of the entire sunlit side of Earth from one million miles away.

The color images of Earth from NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) are generated by combining three separate images to create a photographic-quality image. The camera takes a series of 10 images using different narrowband filters — from ultraviolet to near infrared — to produce a variety of science products. The red, green and blue channel images are used in these Earth images.

“This first DSCOVR image of our planet demonstrates the unique and important benefits of Earth observation from space,” said NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. “As a former astronaut who’s been privileged to view the Earth from orbit, I want everyone to be able to see and appreciate our planet as an integrated, interacting system. DSCOVR’s observations of Earth, as well as its measurements and early warnings of space weather events caused by the sun, will help every person to monitor the ever-changing Earth, and to understand how our planet fits into its neighborhood in the solar system.”

These initial Earth images show the effects of sunlight scattered by air molecules, giving the images a characteristic bluish tint. The EPIC team now is working on a rendering of these images that emphasizes land features and removes this atmospheric effect. Once the instrument begins regular data acquisition, new images will be available every day, 12 to 36 hours after they are acquired by EPIC. These images will be posted to a dedicated web page by September.

“The high quality of the EPIC images exceeded all of our expectations in resolution,” said Adam Szabo, DSCOVR project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The images clearly show desert sand structures, river systems and complex cloud patterns. There will be a huge wealth of new data for scientists to explore.”

The primary objective of DSCOVR, a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force, is to maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of space weather alerts and forecasts from NOAA.

“These new views of the Earth, a result of the great partnership between NOAA, the U.S. Air Force, and NASA, give us an important perspective of the true global nature of our spaceship Earth,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The satellite was launched in February and recently reached its planned orbit at the first Lagrange point or L1, about one million miles from Earth toward the sun. It’s from that unique vantage point that the EPIC instrument is acquiring science quality images of the entire sunlit face of Earth.  Data from EPIC will be used to measure ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth. NASA will use this data for a number of Earth science applications, including dust and volcanic ash maps of the entire planet.

In addition to space weather instruments, DSCOVR carries a second NASA sensor — the National Institute of Science and Technology Advanced Radiometer (NISTAR). Data from the NASA science instruments will be processed at the agency’s DSCOVR Science Operations Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. This data will be archived and distributed by the Atmospheric Science Data Center at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

The Air Force provided the Space X Falcon 9 rocket for the mission. NOAA operates DSCOVR from its Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland, and processes the space weather data at its Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.

NASA uses the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of our home planet, improve lives, and safeguard our future. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records. The agency freely shares this unique knowledge and works with institutions around the world to gain new insights into how our planet is changing.

130 thoughts on “Can you spot the global warming, er climate change, er #poisonedweather in this picture?

    • Well it looks like a ho hum picture to me; all those clouds.
      If you read AlGore’s first book; An Inconvenient Truth, you may have noted that Al Gore was the first person to ever get a picture of the earth at that rare moment when there was not the slightest scintilla of cloud in the sky anywhere at all; not so much as a molecule of cloud.
      But this new picture, is also a rare event, since it catches the earth in the middle of one of its wobbles when the axis is tilted about 45 degrees, instead of 23 1/2 degrees.
      Way to go Al. They say that being there at the site of something happening, is the biggest single advantage that leads to creating good photographs.
      A top candid photographer disclosed his trade secret for getting perfect candid photos of rare events.
      ” F/8 and be there . ” was his secret recipe. Now you also had to know that he was talking about using a 35 mm focal length lens on a 36 x 24 mm SLR camera.
      With that recipe, everything from infinity up to the end of your arm is in sharp focus (when focused a two arms lengths), so you just have to snap , and you have your Pulitzer photo winner.
      But being there is very important. And Al Gore seems to be everywhere that the earth is doing something weird, like tipping over, or abolishing all clouds.

      • tilted about 45 degrees, instead of 23 1/2 degrees

        There is no North in space.
        There are just as many clouds on the other side too, which might explain why Oz is freezing at the moment.

      • Well I know that those on the crusty side of the pizza see things differently, but everything in that photograph is on planet earth, and is not in outer space. And there is an orbital reference plane, to give an orientation..

      • “But this new picture, is also a rare event, since it catches the earth in the middle of one of its wobbles when the axis is tilted about 45 degrees, instead of 23 1/2 degrees.”
        Please explain, george e. smith, because I understand the Inclination of the Earth axis is currently 23.5°, but in a cycle of ~41,000 years varies from 22.1° to 24.5°.

      • Andreas
        I’ll explain for George. LOOK AT THE PICTURE!
        He should have added a sarc tag though.

      • Andres, Any time my English is unintelligible, stick with Bob Boder.
        We both speak the same dialect so he gets it. And I don’t know about tags and such.

      • That’s MY yard I tell ya! I have a bum foot that doctors tell me I have to stay off of. That means I have to stay off the grass too. But never mind, El Nino + the Warm Blob has done a number on my lawn. So that dry patch of long unmowed lawn is mine. So at least it ain’t growing. Much.

  1. Don’t we get Earth photos every day on the TV weather report? I think Gore isn’t watching enough television. He should be committed to an asylum where he can sit and look at pictures of the Earth all day long and enjoy his green jello.

    • We’ve had continuous full Earth satellite pictures from geostationary orbit since ~1970. When Gore first made his silly announcement I was genuinely shocked that the Vice President of the United States didn’t know that Government agencies have been beaming such pictures to the public over the Internet and other means (APT) since he was in college getting a D in his science courses. His bulb has only grown dimmer.
      Despite the availability of such satellite pictures, no one has yet been convinced that they are a good reason to recycle their toilet paper.

    • Perhaps because it’s where greens should relocate and stay ahead of climate change…

    • Mark from the Midwest asked:

      It’s all white in the picture, so why do they call it Greenland?

      If you were a Real Estate salesperson a little over a thousand years ago (970AD approx) and tasked with selling Greenland to your Viking mates, would you try to sell it as “FreezeYourUnmentionablesOffland, the big brother of Iceland”?
      Leif Ericsson couldn’t call it “BrassMonkeyland,” either, because they hadn’t been invented back then, but he saw the colour of the cliffs of ice (green) from just the right angle, and, being an Honest Real Estate salesperson, (they aren’t mythical, they really do exist!) pitched his PR exactly right …

      • You are one of the very few that actually know anything about Leif Eriksson then? There isn’t much documented about him …

  2. Say that again? Exactly what necessary data is being collected when taking a picture of this marble? And at what cost each picture? I want to know just exactly what I am buying.

    • …and I especially want to know how else we are getting this data already. Ya know, it’s awfully nice to have a 4-wheel drive out here in rough country. But it seems to me the government is paying for a 4-wheel drive when it already has one, and then they only drive that one within the city limits!!!

    • …you…er…ah…tax payers….bought a photo. Those who put it there probably got a tingle up there leg…et al Chris Mathews style. Those who paid for it….sorry.

  3. Anyone have a clue what a NASA scientific camera is? If it belongs to NASA, that makes it scientifical?

    • was wondering too – apparently it is a camera that takes “science quality images” whatever they are

  4. IF NOAA can adjust the temperature records then NASA should be able to use Photoshop to adjust the earth photos.

    • reading the description of the process it looks like they are already at it “homogenising” the picture, taking 10 different images and “The EPIC team now is working on a rendering of these images that emphasizes land features and removes this atmospheric effect” EMPHASIZES !!! so they take the raw data and change it to make the picture match their views, NASA just cant help themselves can they, what if some of those 10 images actually show something that disproves CAGW or the effects of CO2 or something, will they publish or will they DE-EMPHASIZE the data.

      • Yeah, that atmospheric effect probably is related to the missing heat and must go down the memory hole.

  5. Rubbish. It is obviously an interecpted signal from the Plutonian probe as they investigate the Inner Solar System. Major Clanger ( for US readers the Clangers was a whimsical, rather inspirational UK TV childrens series of the 1970’s) said that the new images would help undestand the formation of the Pluto Charon system. He said “whilst it only has one moon to our five, there are other similarities with the major moon being so close to the main planet. Our astronomical union has recently downgraded the Earth from a planet to a dwarf trans-Jupiter object as it has a nearly circular orbit but well away from our celestial plane, it remains a fascinating object of study. It is unlikley that life exists there as the conditions suitable for the sustainability of soup dragons are not evident”

  6. As long as this thread is on a politically charged issue, (pretty safe assumption), this just in from the world of politics and space
    Martin O’Malley ties Climate Change to ISIL
    The Pope’s standing is plunging among Catholics in the U.S.
    And don’t forget that all campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis for the Mt. Shasta Summer Conference for Interplanetary Cultural Exchange

    • Geostationary satellites can only see about 85% of the facing hemisphere due to their proximity to the planet. A satellite at L1 can see very close to the entire hemisphere.

      • So what is there on the missing 15% that is so all that darned important to see anyhow ??
        I thought the geosynchronous orbit radius was almost six times the earth radius. So the inclination angle of the rim parts is very little different from what the sun or moon would look like from earth. Certainly not worth going a million mile away to see.
        From a near synchronous orbit, you could take a single photograph of the entire globe; all 360 degrees of it, instead of just one half of it.

      • See, this way they (NASA/NOAA) get to use a “free” US Air Force booster (and a lot of Air Force budget launch and setup money!) to get one of Al Gore’s old boondoogle’s up into space. Then they get a permanent “extra manning budget” assignment or three or eight in personnel at NASA-Goodard in Maryland to add to that budget …
        Just to take pretty pictures for public release. Which makes even more propaganda for their budgets.
        Oh. And every now and then they’ll turn the satellite towards the sun to look for an extra 15 minutes of warming (er, warning) for the CME that NASA can’t avoid in any case.

  7. No is the short answer, it looks no different to December 1968 when the Apollo 8 crew took photographs of Earth from Lunar Orbit

      • Well either one of these photographs; the lunar orbit one or the megamiler one point out one thing.
        Earth’s cloud cover is a MAJOR factor in the amount of solar energy that reaches the condensed surface of the earth and gets stored mostly in the deep oceans.
        The modulation of that energy by cloud feedback can override any small variations in the amount captured temporarily by green house gases, such as CO2.
        Warmistas should be tarred and feathered (white leghorns) till they look about like those photographs of the earth.

  8. Look to the SE of the tip of Florida. You can see The Bahamas as a blue-green smudge, and the a series of dots going off to the right. KEWL.

  9. Hey, are those clouds moving? Anyone know why\y that is happening? Could that lead to a change in the weather errr climate? And where and what colour is; the “carbon greenhouse gas” pollution? I kinda thought it was black, it sure was in all the photos I have seen behind all the concerned actors , failed pollies, 97 percent scientists and journalists.
    I think I need a close-up shot..

  10. Can I spot the climate change? I haven’t spotted that sneaky waldo yet. If a cute hippie chick comes along though Ican see climate change up the wazoo. I’m drowning in climate change then.

  11. Re the tone and title: “As dogs are to bark, some people are to mock.” ― Junaid e Mustafa

  12. Satellite pay-TV that I used to buy had a channel to look at Earth from the compamy’s geo-sync satellite. It was over the Eastern Pacific. Looked right down at Baja and Mexico and SW USA. It’s often obscured by sun reflection.

    • Indeed, there is a surprising amount if albedo in that picture. Does this mean it is about to get colder? Has Gore captured the first image of the next ice age?

      • How on earth (or a million miles away) to you perceive the albedo of the earth in that picture ?
        What you see is what the camera exposure was chosen for you to see. It is quite impossible from that photograph to determine if the albedo is 99.99 % or if it is 0.01 %

  13. How often will the Moon be in the picture?
    Why are there no stars in the background?

    • 1) Not very.
      2) The picture was taken of a fake earth in a Hollywood sound studio.
      Either that or the same reason you do not see stars when you look at the sky out of the window of your brightly lit living room.
      Take your pick.

    • “Why are there no stars in the background?”
      Because they haven’t been modeled, Silly
      🙂 michael

  14. Call me stupid, but I don’t see much to cause alarm. Perhaps NASA should have modelled the earth based on proxies instead.

  15. Looks like a lot of cloud cover in the Northern hemisphere.
    Greenland sure is a solid bright white with minimal snow free or dirty edges. Plus there looks to be a lot of sea ice just west of Greenland.
    Cow? Poisoned or poisonous weather?
    Definitely poisonous weather, to the CAGW alarmists. Looks like a happy Mother Gaia.

  16. Wait… wait…
    I believe I can see bears, no, a lot of polar bears.
    They appear to be waving signs.

  17. I wonder what a thermal image would look like…or other channeled categories of light. Move along….no signs of life here. oops….disreagard…..standby…standby….something Gorey just emerged….

  18. Since we are talking satellites should we not have had the latest from OCO-2 by now?
    (Actually it is a bit cheeky of me to demand this data since I have , so far as i know, not contributed a penny towards the cost of the project . Much of the data discussed here is the result of US taxpayer’s investment , then disseminated freely to the rest of the world who use it to justify demanding more US ( and UK) taxpayer’s money for climate “justice” – funny old world is it no?)

  19. Look how far east South America is compared to North America.
    Flat maps are awful, give people mistaken ideas about geography.

    • Look how far east South America is compared to North America.
      Hmm, Menicholas could it have broken off and is now ..floating away?

      • Yes, the Galapagos Islands which are about 600 miles west off the coast of Ecuador are about due south of New Orleans.

  20. Re: Al Gore
    I might be a lot of things, but I’ve yet to send a masseuse screaming to the press.
    There is still time though 🙂

    • I was going to say,
      “Re:Al Gore
      The Wiener the World Awaited”.
      But there are so many other wieners out there.
      And the phrase implies that they are actually wanted.

  21. ‘Yep, it’s all about the emotion, science takes a backseat in Gore’s mind.’
    Why not, its an approach that has made him big bucks and that for someone that could bet Bush is very good going.

    • I was about to cite the same sentence. Isn’t it something to do with the emotional pleasure thrill of the dopamine surge associated with absolute Green power corrupting absolutely?

  22. I think I can see Hillary with a longer hairdo about a half inch below Mexico and about an inch to the left of the polar bear over Columbia.

    • an inch to the left of the polar bear over Columbia.

      The polar bear is west of Columbia. Or maybe it’s a sheepdog. (I don’t know what it is trying to get it’s attention.)

  23. “Can you see the devastating effects of climate change?”
    I guess it must be hiding round the dark side.

  24. Except for the few shots from the Moon missions, the views of the full disc of planet Earth we have seen in the last thirty years have all been computerized composites that combine a dozen or more satellite shots. By collecting these shots over a period of several hours as the direct sunlight moves across the Earth, you can create uniformly lighted pictures. I have collected several over the years. By selecting pictures over several weeks or months as you obtain pictures of various regions essentially cloud free you can create a cloud-free picture of Earth. I have one of these. As for the scientific value of these pictures, it is very limited. However, the real time images of areas of interest can be of great aid in short term storm forecasting.

  25. I think the 2ndary mission of this satellite is to measure earths albedo and how much energy is leaving earth. AGW proponents seem to be very happy about it.

  26. Louis Armstrong had the right idea;
    “I see trees of green, red roses too
    I see them bloom for me and you
    And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
    I see skies of blue and clouds of white
    The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
    And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
    The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
    Are also on the faces of people going by
    I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
    But they’re really saying I love you.
    I hear baby’s cry, and I watched them grow
    They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know
    And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
    Yes, I think to myself what a wonderful world.”
    If only the climate campaigners could see it that way.
    What a wonderful world it would be indeed.

  27. Okay Al Gore got his nice shiny toy. Now can NASA please get back to it’s real job and responsibilities? You know like getting a useable manned launch vehicle that can transport our Astronauts to and from the space station, so we don’t have to be at the mercy of the Russians.
    And pretty please, a manned mission to ah say Mars? Possibly the Belt. You know spend the money we give them on space stuff and not AGW crap, which they were not created for.
    Sorry its just such a waste.

  28. “Well in addition to sending back pretty pictures of Earth every so often……..”
    No “pretty Pictures of Earth” here, thank you very much!
    [ah yes, we forgot, all alarmist “idiots” like yourself see is a cesspool caused by humans. check. -mod]

  29. If you zoom in on the equatorial Atlantic and squint your eyes, you can clearly see the effects of climate change.
    The earth has a fever, and it’s feeling grumpy and might need a nap.

  30. “It’s not an accident that that first image, called Earthrise, led to the passage of major environmental laws in the United States during the presidency of Richard Nixon, nor is it a coincidence that the first Earth Day was organized less than a year and a half after that first picture was seen.” –Al Gore
    “The first Earth Day took place April 22, 1970. The centennial of Lenin’s birth took place April 22, 1970. Needless to say, the Lenin centenary was a huge deal to the communist movement, which goes bonkers over dates and memorials to its icons.
    “Here are more striking similarities: Vladimir Lenin and the communist and environmental movements all remonstrated against capitalism, profits, corporations, industry, free markets, the West.
    “Here’s another: When the communist movement imploded in the late 1980s, many of its disciples just happened to join… yep, you guessed it: the environmental movement.”

  31. What is it about NASA cameras that makes them always take pictures when the USA is centre-frame?

    • NO. You can only see one half of the planet at any one time. Earth’s Temperature depends on the total cloud cover over all 4pi steradians. Clouds come and go in minutes so can’t be continuously monitored.

  32. Are anymore of these images being planned?
    In my opinion they should all be banned,
    Real world observations have no place in science,
    Only on computer model projections should there be a reliance;
    So all of these denier driven images we must quickly replace
    With CGI images of how the world should look from space.

  33. I don’t know of any environmental laws resulting from satellite photos, but I like having such images available, especially if they remain retrievable long after they first appear online. I can’t help but wonder, though, why there should be as much as 36 hours delay in their online publication.

  34. It reminds us that most of the world’s landmass in in the northern hemisphere and most of that is too cold for more than a smattering of people. Also, Arctic ice is the main impediment to world trade.

  35. It reminds us that half of the world’s landmass lies too close to the N Pole for more than a smattering of people to live there. Also that Arctic sea ice is the main impediment to world trade.

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