Credit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds). Enhancements by Robert Simmon (ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation). Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights).
This spectacular “blue marble” image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public. This record includes preview images and links to full resolution versions up to 21,600 pixels across.
Much of the information contained in this image came from a single remote-sensing device-NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS. Flying over 700 km above the Earth onboard the Terra satellite, MODIS provides an integrated tool for observing a variety of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric features of the Earth. The land and coastal ocean portions of these images are based on surface observations collected from June through September 2001 and combined, or composited, every eight days to compensate for clouds that might block the sensor’s view of the surface on any single day. Two different types of ocean data were used in these images: shallow water true color data, and global ocean color (or chlorophyll) data. Topographic shading is based on the GTOPO 30 elevation dataset compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey’s EROS Data Center. MODIS observations of polar sea ice were combined with observations of Antarctica made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s AVHRR sensor—the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer. The cloud image is a composite of two days of imagery collected in visible light wavelengths and a third day of thermal infra-red imagery over the poles. Global city lights, derived from 9 months of observations from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, are superimposed on a darkened land surface map.

		Sensor Terra/MODIS
		Visualization Date 2002-02-08
			.	All Sensors MODIS
			.	All Satellites Terra MODIS
	.	All Categories Collections Blue Marble Blue Marble 2002
Credit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli…

Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force: Policy Prescriptions to Address Economic and Health Care Challenges in the Face of COVID-19

The Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force explains why single-use plastic bags are ideal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Single-Use Plastic Bans and ALEC’s Auxiliary Container Act

Reusable plastic bags have the potential to spread the COVID-19 virus. While there is not specific evidence of transmission from reusable bags leading to any cases yet, the National Institutes of Health reports that it can live on plastic surfaces for 2 or 3 days. In addition to viruses, bacteria can linger on reusable plastic bags and consumers often neglect to clean them. A 2011 study of reusable bags found that only 3% of consumers regularly wash them, 99% percent of bags tested positive for bacteria, and 8% of bags carried E. coli. Amid shutdowns of non-essential businesses, it makes since to also stop the potential spread of the virus by having people use disposable plastic or paper bags.

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Maine enacted a single-use plastic ban last year that was set to go into effect in April but early this month voted to delay the ban until next year. New York’s Department of Environmental Quality delayed enforcement of its single-use bag ban until at least May 15. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu ordered grocery only use single-use plastic or paper bags instead of reusable bags.

Policy prescriptions developed by our members can be found in ALEC Connect.

In Depth: Agriculture

In a 1787 letter to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “[a]griculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.” Agriculture, perhaps more so than any other vocation or enterprise, is indelibly American. Defined as the cultivation of plants,…

+ Agriculture In Depth