Seeing photosynthesis from space

seeing-photosynthesis-from-space

Scientists have discovered a new way to use satellites to measure what's occurring inside Earth's land plants at a cellular level.

During photosynthesis, plants emit what is called fluorescence — a form of light invisible to the naked eye but detectable by satellites orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth. NASA scientists established a method to turn this satellite data into global maps of the subtle phenomenon in more detail than ever before.

The new maps — produced by Joanna Joiner of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and colleagues — provide a 16-fold increase in spatial resolution and a 3-fold increase in temporal resolution over the first proof-of-concept maps released in 2011. Improved global measurements could have implications for farmers interested in early indications of crop stress, and ecologists looking to better understand global vegetation and carbon cycle processes.

"For the first time, we are able to globally map changes in fluorescence over the course of a single month," Joiner said. "This lets us use fluorescence to observe, for example, variation in the length of the growing season."

Featured image and video credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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One Comment

  1. I thank You for this vidiofilm, that I have done since 1976 and used also to warn about Catastrofic camming,
    Like China 1976 3 month before the earthQuakes that Kill over 1 million in China,, and warn of the Indonesia 2004 and 2005 and 2006 and 2010 in 1991 and 1996 I also send to Phillippinnes and told them about the 2008 and 2013 Typhons the dates were also set up in 1996 that Phillippinnes will be hit 2008 and the 08.11.2013 and Japan 2011 warn 6 year before and the hole year before,Haiti 2010 warn in 2007 and the year 2010 and Sichuan Provins 2008 and all the other 40 catastrofic that hit, why don't people took notise and learn from it ??

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