The Living Planet: The earth teems with biological diversity, and life exists in and on every part of our planet. In the oceans, organisms float near the surface and swim at great depths. On land, animal life can be found in all climates and physical surroundings, from deserts to tropical forests, from mountain peaks to deep canyons. Plant life can be found wherever there is enough water, sunlight, and nutrients. Forest ecosystems, made up of countless trees, cover about one third of the earth’s land surface.
How satellites help us: Orbiting satellites can detect plant vegetation, the density of organisms in ocean water, and the interaction between living things and the atmosphere. Many satellites are designed to identify certain infrared wavelengths that indicate the presence of plant life.