Earth  ID: 4452

Vegetation Greening Trend in Canada and Alaska: 1984-2012

High-latitude regions have been warming rapidly since the last century, at a rate higher than the global average. At continental scales, satellite data since the 1980s have indicated increased vegetation productivity (greening) across northern high latitudes, and a productivity decline (browning) for certain areas of undisturbed boreal forest of Canada and Alaska. These remote sensing results have been corroborated by in-situ evidence.

This research provides a spatially complete view of the vegetation greenness change for all of Canada and Alaska by calculating per-pixel NDVI trend from all available 1984–2012 peak-summer Landsat-5 and -7 surface reflectance data. By incorporating observations from overlapping scenes, researchers obtained up to 160 valid NDVI values for certain areas from this 29-year period, establishing the mid-Summer greenness trend.

This animation shows the resulting greenness trend over Canada and Alaska with special attention focused on the regions of Quebec and northern Alaska.

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Visualization Credits

Cindy Starr (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Lead Visualizer
Junchang Ju (USRA): Scientist
Jeffrey Masek (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA): Producer
Eric Sokolowsky (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Data Provider
Joycelyn Thomson Jones (NASA/GSFC): Project Support
Leann Johnson (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Project Support
Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
Ian Jones (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
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LDCM: Landsat Data Continuity Mission

Data Used:
Landsat/Landsat NDVI Trend (1984–2012)
This research used a nominal peak greenness period, July 1 to August 31, to accommodate tundra of all regions for Landsat data selection. We only considered the terrain-corrected scenes, excluding scenes that have cloud cover more than 80%. As a result, a total of 87,762 Landsat scenes over 1271 Path/Row locations were selected from 1984-2012. Of these, 63% were from Landsat-5, as Landsat-5 provided the only data source for 1984-1998 and continued to acquire data until 2011. This work aims to provide a spatially complete view of the vegetation greenness change for all of Canada and Alaska by calculating per-pixel NDVI trend from all available 1984-2012 peak-summer Landsat-5 and -7 surface reflectance data.
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

SVS >> Landsat
GCMD >> Location >> Canada
GCMD >> Location >> Alaska
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version