Vegetation covered land appears green in the Natural Colour RGB images.
Vegetation cover over land is depicted in green in the Natural Colour RGB. The intense green colour stems from the strong response of the VIS 0.8 micron channel. Vegetated surfaces much stronger reflect solar radiation at 0.8 than at 0.6 microns. This is one of the reasons, this channels combination is called "Natural Colour RGB".
When the vegetation cover is affected by longer drought periods, the former green areas in the RGB image transform to brownish tones. The picture above shows the Iberian peninsula and France in strong green shades in mid April 2013, while the image below shows the Iberian peninsula in mid September 2013. The same transformation can be seen when vegetation is under hibernating conditions and leaves are not photosynthetically active.
A sharp contrast between vegetation and desert is visible in the Nile delta (see image below). The Nile delta with its abundant vegetation appears green in the Natural Colour RGB while the surrounding deserts are red.
Explanation of the colours of vegetated land in the Natural Colour RGB (see also the recipe on the left side):
• Radiation mesured by the SEVIRI instrument of MSG in channel 2 (0.8 micron) is much more intense than radiation measured at 0.6 or 1.6 micrometer. Therefore the green colour beam outbalances the other colour beams for vegetated land surfaces.