- Related Research Areas
- Earth Surface & Interior
Vegetation indices are radiometric measures of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by chlorophyll in the green leaves of vegetation canopies and are therefore good surrogate measures of the physiologically functioning surface greenness level of a region. In a series of articles during the early 1980s, Compton J. Tucker, demonstrated how the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) generated from NOAA’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data can be used to map land cover and monitor vegetation changes and desertification at continental and global scales. A simple search on the Web of Science reveals over 5000 articles containing NDVI either in the title or in the abstract. Compton J. Tucker continued to generate the NDVI time series over the past 30 years, in the framework of the Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling System (GIMMS) project, carefully assembling it from different AVHRR sensors and accounting for various deleterious effects, such as calibration loss, orbital drift, volcanic eruptions, etc. The latest version of the GIMMS NDVI data set spans the period July 1981 to December 2011 and is termed NDVI3g (third generation GIMMS NDVI from AVHRR sensors).
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