The overarching science question of NEESPI is the interaction of terrestrial ecosystems with biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. Information on land cover and on land cover change is essential for characterizing terrestrial ecosystems. Land cover in Northern Eurasia is subject to natural disturbances (e.g. fires, insect infestation) and by land use changes related to human activity. Understanding land cover dynamics also contributes to the understanding of biogeochemical cycles, including carbon cycle. Land surface temperature and albedo are also important indicators of surface conditions and important drivers of the energy budget.
The NASA NEESPI data system currently includes data on land cover type and active fire occurrence. In the near future MODIS-based data on vegetation indices, land surface temperature and albedo will be included.
Related Scientific Papers:
Friedl, M. A., D. K. McIver, J. C. F. Hodges, X. Y. Zhang, D. Muchoney, A. H. Strahler, C. E. Woodcock, S. Gopal, A. Schneider, A. Cooper, A. Baccini, F. Gao, and C. Schaaf, 2002.
Global land cover mapping from MODIS: Algorithms and early results. Remote Sensing of Environment, 83: 287-302.
Giglio, L., I. Csiszar and C.O. Justice, 2006: Global Distribution and Seasonality of Active Fires as Observed with the Terra and Aqua MODIS Sensors. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, 111, G02016, doi:10.1029/2005JG000142.