Vegetation as seen by Suomi NPP

Jun 21, 2013 by Audrey Haar
World map of vegetation created with Suomi NPP data. Credit: NASA/NOAA

(Phys.org) —Images crafted from a year's worth of data collected by the Suomi NPP satellite provide a vivid depiction of worldwide vegetation. Suomi NPP, short for National Polar-orbiting Partnership, is a partnership between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The images show the difference between green and arid areas of Earth as seen in data from the Visible-/Radiometer Suite, or VIIRS, instrument aboard Suomi NPP. VIIRS detects changes in the reflection of light, producing images that measure vegetation changes over time.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The Suomi NPP vegetation data will be incorporated into many Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, or NDVI-based products and services, including environmental monitoring, numerical and the U.S. Drought Monitor operated by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

This vegetation index measures and monitors plant growth, vegetation cover and biomass production from satellite information. It is calculated from the visible and near-infrared light reflected by vegetation.

NDVI represents the photosynthetic potential of vegetation. The summation or integration of NDVI over time represents gross primary production. High index values represent dense, green, functioning vegetation. Low values represent sparse vegetation or vegetation under stress from conditions, such as drought.

The measurements from VIIRS continue some of the data records collected by several NASA satellites, including Terra and Aqua, in orbit since December 1999 and February 2002, respectively. Terra and Aqua each make use of an instrument called the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, which looks at global vegetation along with other Earth features.

Explore further: Suomi NPP satellite spots birth of Tropical Cyclone Kate

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA image: California's powerhouse fire at night

Jun 04, 2013

From its orbit around the Earth, the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite or Suomi NPP satellite, captured a night-time image of California's Powerhouse Fire.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite sees a fading Felleng

Feb 06, 2013

NASA-NOAA's Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite captured a night-time image of extra-tropical cyclone Felleng as it was being battered by wind shear in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Recommended for you

Suomi NPP satellite spots birth of Tropical Cyclone Kate

18 hours ago

The tropical low pressure area previously known as System 95S organized and strengthened into Tropical Cyclone Kate on Dec. 24 and the Cocos Keeling Islands are expected to feel its effects on Dec. 25 and ...

NASA looks at some severe holiday weather from space

18 hours ago

Severe weather in the form of tornadoes is not something people expect on Christmas week but a storm system on Dec. 23 brought tornadoes to Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana. As the storm moved, NASA's RapidScat ...

NASA satellite spots Christmas

23 hours ago

If you're looking for Christmas NASA's Aqua satellite spotted it in the Southern Indian Ocean. It's a coral atoll (a ring-shaped reef, island, or chain of islands made up of coral) in the northern Line Islands ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.