‘Blue marble’: how half a century of climate change has altered the face of the Earth

Robert Poole, Nick Pepin, Oliver Gruner

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


In December 1972, Nasa’s final Apollo mission (Apollo 17) took the iconic “Blue Marble” photo of the whole Earth. Many, including science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, had expected that the sight of Earth from afar would instil the belief that mankind’s future lay in space.

Instead, it made Earth appear more unique, and has since become an icon of the global environmental movement.

But that portrait is now a historical artefact. Fifty years later, on December 8 2022, Nasa took a new image of Earth from its Deep Space Climate Observatory approximately 1.5 million kilometres away. The photo reveals clear changes to the face of the Earth, some of which are indicative of 50 years of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023

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