What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

The Earth's A Big Green Marble

June 26, 2013, 8:00 PM
Everglades

What's the Latest Development?

The National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (NPP), a collaboration between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has produced a series of high-resolution images that displays the planet's vegetation in closer detail than ever before. They were created using data from the Visible-Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), an instrument on board the Suomi NPP satellite. VIIRS measures both visible and near-infrared light; because leaf cells reflect near-infrared light, the lushness of an area can be determined by how much of that light is "visible" to the instrument.

What's the Big Idea?

The detailed maps created with VIIRS' data reveal changes in vegetation over time, which can give scientists a heads-up on drought and wildfires, They can even warn of potential malaria outbreaks, according to the NOAA: "As vegetation grows in sub-Saharan Africa, so does the risk for malaria...Vegetation indexes provide world health organisations the lead time needed to distribute supplies and medicine." The maps also indicate a global increase in vegetation, with more of it moving north as greenhouse gas emissions encourage photosynthesis.

Photo Credit: NASA/NOAA

Read it at New Scientist

 

The Earth's A Big Green Marble

Newsletter: Share: