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Vegetation on Earth: Stunning satellite imagery depicting vegetation around the world

Date:
June 24, 2013
Source:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Summary:
Although 75 percent of the planet is an ocean of blue, the remaining 25 percent of Earth's surface is a dynamic green. Data from the Visible-Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on board the NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP satellite is able to detect these subtle differences in greenness, and is sending extraordinary images back to Earth giving us a clearer picture of vegetation around the world.

The two sides of Earth depicting green vegetation, April 2012 to April 2013. The darkest green areas are the lushest in vegetation, while the pale colors are sparse in vegetation cover either due t o snow, drought, rock, or urban. areas.
Credit: NASA/NOAA

Although 75 percent of the planet is an ocean of blue, the remaining 25 percent of Earth's surface is a dynamic green.

Data from the Visible-Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on board the NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP satellite is able to detect these subtle differences in greenness, and is sending extraordinary images back to Earth giving us a clearer picture of vegetation around the world.

NOAA, in cooperation with NASA, used satellite data from April 2012 to April 2013 to generate a stunning series of animations and images depicting the annual cycle of green vegetation on Earth. These images allow scientists to measure changes in vegetation over time.

Vegetation data has many applications, from weather and ecological forecasting, to understanding best practices for land use. Pixel by pixel analysis of vegetation changes from week to week to give an early warning for the outbreaks of drought, hazardous fire conditions, or even when malaria may break out in Sub-Saharan Africa. Because vegetation greatly affects runoff, surface temperature, and relative humidity of an area, more complex weather forecasts are beginning to integrate vegetation dynamics into numerical models and drought outlooks.

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The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Vegetation on Earth: Stunning satellite imagery depicting vegetation around the world." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130624141820.htm>.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2013, June 24). Vegetation on Earth: Stunning satellite imagery depicting vegetation around the world. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130624141820.htm
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Vegetation on Earth: Stunning satellite imagery depicting vegetation around the world." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130624141820.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

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