This 2024 Earth Day poster is an ocean themed vertical 15x30 illustration created from NASA satellite cloud imagery overlaid on ocean data. The white cloud imagery wraps around shapes, defining three whales and a school of fish. Swirly cloud patterns, called Von Kármán Vortices, create the feeling of movement in the composition. The focal point is a cyclone in the upper third of the poster. At the center flies the recently launched PACE satellite. The ocean imagery – composed of blues, aquas, and greens – is filled with subtle color changes and undulating patterns created by churning sediment, organic matter and phytoplankton.The ocean holds about 97 percent of Earth’s water and covers 70 percent of our planet’s surface. According to the United Nations, the ocean may be home to 50 to 80 percent of all life on Earth. Even if you live hundreds of miles from a coast, what happens in the ocean is fundamental to your life.NASA/Jenny Mottar Real satellite imagery from NASA’s Terra, Aqua, and Landsat missions takes the shape of whales and swirling clouds in the agency’s Earth Day 2024 poster, “Water Touches Everything.”

The major ocean basins – Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Indian, and Southern – shape our planet’s climate and weather by absorbing, storing, and moving heat, water, and carbon dioxide. For nearly five decades, NASA missions have enabled researchers to observe from above and measure changes in the ocean across days, months, seasons, and years. Scientists use our satellite and sub-orbital data and climate models to study ocean dynamics, sea level rise, hydrological cycles, marine life, and the intersections of land and sea.

Hear NASA Science Mission Directorate Art Director, Jenny Mottar, explain her inspiration behind this year’s poster concept and design.

Image Credit: NASA/Jenny Mottar

Water Touches Everything