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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Materials provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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