Measurements of how vegetation changes over time can influence weather and ecological forecasting, NOAA officials said. Minute, pixel-sized changes can serve as an early warning for drought, fire conditions or potential malaria outbreaks, for example.
The data will be incorporated into the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a measure of plant growth, vegetation cover and biomass based on light reflected. High values on the NDVI indicate lush, healthy vegetation, while low values represent sparse or stressed-out vegetation that may be experiencing drought, according to a NASA statement.
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