The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite senses temperature using infrared wavelengths. This image shows temperature of the Earth's surface or clouds covering it. The scale ranges from -81°C in black/blue to 47°C in red. The Intertropical Convergence Zone, an equatorial region of persistent thunderstorms and high, cold clouds are depicted in yellow. Higher latitudes are increasingly obscured by clouds, though some features like the Great Lakes are apparent. Northernmost Europe and Eurasia are completely obscured by clouds, while Antarctica stands out cold and clear at the bottom of the image.
Image courtesy AIRS Science Team, NASA/JPL, by way of the Earth Observatory.