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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.

We often take the Biosphere for granted and as the climate changes, plant species and ecosystems respond by adapting, migrating or reducing their population.  Why is this important?  The plants of the Biosphere feed us, clothe us, absorb carbon dioxide, provide us with oxygen,

Scientific data are often represented by assigning ranges of numbers to specific colors. The colors are then used to make an images which allow us to see patterns more easily. Students will make a false color image using a set of numbers.

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.