Scientists from Bournemouth University and the University of Southampton have devised a new method of examining how much of the earths surface is covered by vegetation and assessing the state of health of the foliage. The European Space Agency (ESA) has recognised the value of this information which is likely to be a vital tool for researchers examining models of terrestrial productivity, gas exchange and climate change.
Dr Jadunandan Dash from the School of Geography and Visiting Professor Paul Curran of Bournemouth University use data from an instrument called Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) on board the worlds largest environmental satellite, Envisat.
It measures reflected radiation in visible red and near-infra red wavelengths. This information, in turn, is used in a tool called the MERIS Terrestrial Chlorophyll Index (MTCI), which has been an ESA operational product since 2004.
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