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Global change research investigates the underlying processes of change and their manifestation, the impacts and the prediction of change. Monitoring these changes provides an important underpinning to both global change research and resource management. Monitoring of land cover and land use is an important element of the NASA Earth Science Enterprise. Moderate resolution remote sensing provides a means for quantifying land surface characteristics such as land cover type and extent, snow cover extent, surface temperature, leaf area index, fire occurrence. Satellite measurements of leaf area, leaf duration and net primary productivity provide important inputs to parameterize or validate ecosystem process models. High quality, consistent and well-calibrated satellite measurements are needed if we are to detect and monitor changes and trends in these variables. Developing the next-generation data sets for global change research is the challenge given to the MODIS Science Team.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, sensor resides aboard the Terra and Aqua platforms, offering a view the Earth's surface every 1-2 days. The MODIS sensor collects data within 36 spectral bands, ranging in wavelengths from 0.4 µm to 14.4 µm and provides us with imagery at a nominal resolution of 250 m at nadir for two bands, 500 m resolution for 5 bands, and the remaining 29 bands at 1 km.



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