By carefully measuring the wavelengths and intensity of visible and near-infrared light reflected by the land surface back up into space, the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Team can quantify the concentrations of green leaf vegetation around the world. The above MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) map shows the density of plant growth over the entire globe. Very low values of EVI (white and brown areas) correspond to barren areas of rock, sand, or snow. Moderate values (light greens) represent shrub and grassland, while high values indicate temperate and tropical rainforests (dark greens). The MODIS EVI gives scientists a new tool for monitoring major fluctuations in vegetation and understanding how they affect, and are affected by, regional climate trends.
For more information, read NASA Unveils Spectacular Suite of New Global Data Products from MODIS.
Image courtesy MODIS Land Group/Vegetation Indices, Alfredo Huete, Principal Investigator, and Kamel Didan, University of Arizona.