Fortunate Global Greening

NASA offers a data product called a Vegetation Index. This can be used to track how green the Earth is.

February 2000, [Source]

Although many are familiar with recent global greening, I prefer to always check the source data. And so I downloaded all of their available 16-day-increment data from 2000 to 2021. Here’s my result:

0.0936 --> 0.1029 is +9.94%

10% global greening in 20 years! We are incredibly fortunate!

I just wish everyone felt that way. But you know not everyone does. To the extent that humans enhance global greening is precisely what social parasites want to tax and regulate. No good deed goes unpunished.

Anyway, Enjoy 🙂 -Zoe

P. S. The Earth is ~29% land. A Veg Index of ~0.29 would mean all covered land is heavy vegetation.

# Zoe Phin, 2021/02/16
# File:
# Run: source; sets; download; index; plot

sets() {
    for y in {2000..2021}; do
        wget -qO- "$y" 
    done | awk -F\' '/"viewDataset/{print $4" "$2}' > sets.csv 

download() {
    rm -f wget.log [0-9]*.csv
    awk '{print "wget -a wget.log -O "$1".csv \""$2"&cs=rgb&format=CSV&width=360&height=180\""}' sets.csv >
    rm -f 201[789]-12-31.csv

area() {
    seq -89.5 1 89.5 | awk '{
        a=6378.137; e=1-6356.752^2/a^2; r=atan2(0,-1)/180
        printf "%.9f\n",(a*r)^2*(1-e)*cos(r*$1)/(1-e*sin(r*$1)^2)^2/1416867.06
    }' > .area

avg() {
    awk -F, '{
        for (i=2;i<=NF;i++) { 
            if ($i~/999/) $i=0
            S+=$i; N+=1
        printf "%s %.4f\n", $1, S/N
    }' | awk '{ 
    } END { 
        printf "%0.4f\n", S

yoy() {
    cat .csv | cut -c12- | tr '\n' ' ' | awk -vp=$1 '{
        for (i=0;i<p/2;i++) print ""
        for (i=p/2;i<=NF-p/2;i++) { s=0
            for (j=i-p/2; j<=i+p/2; j++)
            printf "%.4f\n", s
    }' > .yoy

index() { area
    for f in $(ls -1 2*.csv); do
        echo -n "${f/.csv/} "
        paste -d, .area $f | avg
    done > .csv

plot() { 
    yoy 22; paste -d ' ' .csv .yoy > plot.csv
    sed -n '12p;$p' .yoy | tr '\n' ' ' | awk '{printf "%s --> %s, is %+0.2f%\n", $1, $2, ($2/$1-1)*100 }'
    echo "
        set term png size 740,620
        set key outside top center horizontal
        set timefmt '%Y-%m-%d'
        set xdata time
        set xtics format '%Y'
        set ytics format '%4.2f'
        set ytics 0.01
        set mxtics 2
        set mytics 5
        set xrange ['2000-01-01':'2020-12-31']
        set grid xtics mxtics ytics
        plot 'plot.csv' u 1:2 t 'Vegetation Index ' w lines lw 2 lc rgb '#00CC00',\
                     '' u 1:3 t '1-Year Moving Avg' w lines lw 3 lc rgb '#005500'		
    "| gnuplot > veg.png 

Published by Zoe Phin

45 thoughts on “Fortunate Global Greening

  1. Of course, no money to be made if there isn’t a disaster. Anything good must be called bad.

    Of course, the warmista would say you are paid by big oil 😋😉

    Love your work!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been recommending your work to friends. Another blog I like has a share option so I repost his links with the WordPress tool when other work distracts me from blogging. If there is such a thing here and I’m not seeing it, please point it out. I really appreciate the originality and novel approaches you bring to these inquiries.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand that the graph shows how green the world is varying over time. If correct, the world is more then 3 times as green in northern hemisphere summer time as in northern winter time. This seems rather farfetched since the amazon, African and Asian rainforests and even the northern pine forest stay green all year. Variation in greenness is limited to farming and decidious trees. I suspect the graph represents something else.
    Kin regards

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice work Zoe Phin. I tried to get more excitement from readers on WUWT about greening half a dozen yrs ago and didn’t garner much comment. I made some back of envelope calculations at the time starting with a google estimate that there are 3 trillion trees on the planet – the NASA info at the time was that forest area had increased 15% in 35 yrs.

    I can’t find my calculations but I used some average rate of tree growth taking the average age of new trees at 17yrs. I added a factor for “fattening” of existing trees and came up with something like 400Gt of carbon sequestered in this new forest over 35yrs. I qualitatively discussed all other plants, ocean plankton, algae, etc.

    I forecasted “Garden of Eden Earth” to go along with peak population (~85% there already) plentiful resources, peace and prosperity! And a final end to Malthusian Dark Ages plans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Zoe…….Interesting work and I can certainly believe the upward trend in the greening of the planet but I had the same thoughts as Paul Verspoor regarding the range of the oscillation which seems a little extreme. Having spent a large part of my life in the Tropics where it’s (essentially) always green, the minima on those plots are particularly strange.

      Also, on looking at the MODIS site, I note they have an image of a phytoplankton bloom on that page and I’m wondering whether marine chlorophyll is also captured in those graphs you plotted. That may (or may not) help explain the range of the oscillations and, of course, it wouldn’t be surprising if a large chunk of the greenery was floating in the oceans where we generally don’t see it. Anyway, just thinking out loud. Thanks!


      1. I didn’t create the data. I merely averaged it on a spheroid for every available time period. Then I took a centered moving average. Frankly the details don’t matter to me as long as there’s consistency in NASA’s data across time. Why should we doubt there is?


      2. Phil, a large part of the landmass is savanna which wiki says:

        “Savannas are also characterised by seasonal water availability, with the majority of rainfall confined to one season; they are associated with several types of biomes, and are frequently in a transitional zone between forest and desert or grassland. Savanna covers approximately 20% of the Earth’s land area”

        So 20% of the surface area could give use lots of seasonal greening?


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