Global land data sets for next-generation biospheric monitoring



The Mauna Loa atmospheric CO2 record initiated in 1957 was the first data set to show that the entire Earth was being affected by human activity C. D. Keeling relived the history and current trends of that CO2 data set in a keynote address at a recent Earth observation meeting where next-generation capabilities in global biospheric monitoring were unveiled. The second MODIS Vegetation Workshop held last August, was attended by 170 scientists from 27 states and 19 countries.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is a visible/infrared optical sensor launched on both the Terra (December 1999) and the more recent Aqua (May 2002) platforms of the NASA Earth Observing System to provide daily global Earth observation at 250-1000-m spatial resolution. The MODIS Land Science Team since 1990 has developed algorithms analyzing the spectral data to produce biophysical variables over 110 million km2 of vegetated land surface for global science (http.7/modis-land.gsfc.