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Tiny plants called phytoplankton grow in the sunlit waters of the ocean's surface. Like all plants, phytoplankton contain chlorophyll, a pigment that transforms sunlight into energy the plant can use. This same pigment gives phytoplankton their greenish color.
One of the key "vital signs" of Earth's vegetation is the total green leaf area for a given ground area. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites collects global Leaf Area Index (LAI) data on a daily basis.
The colors on these maps show a measure of the "greenness" of Earth's landscapes. The values on these maps—ranging from -0.1 to 0.9—have no unit.
Step 1: Download the dataset from the MND Earth System Data Explorer
Please consider using this graphic organizer to help students analyze the processes and components of Earth System phenomena.
NASA Worldview is a free online visualization tool that is a great launchpad for learners who are new (or
The fires in Greece during the summer of 2007 devastated large tracks of forest and ground cover in this Mediterranean region. These before (left) and after (right) images were taken on July 18 and September 4 by Landsat-7. The red areas show the extent of the biomass loss from the fires.
Information from satellites if often used to display information about objects. This information can include how things appear, as well as their contents. Explore how pixel data sequences can be used to create an image and interpret it.
Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is affected, among other things, by processes involving forests including fires, deforestation and plant respiration. Evaluate a Landsat image to determine the rate of carbon dioxide sequestration in a particular area.