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Archive for October 2nd, 2009

Irrigated Agriculture Near Ciudad Obregón, Mexico

27.4N 109.9W

October 2nd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Mexico - September 3rd, 2009

Mexico - September 3rd, 2009

The large, bright white and grey checked area in this orthorectified image is a mostly agricultural zone in the Mexican state of Sonora. The intensely irrigated, expansive area of fields is bordered by the Gulf of California (or Sea of Cortez) below and the city of Ciudad Obregón above.

Ciudad Obregón (locally known simply as Obregón) is the second largest city in the northern Mexican state of Sonora and is situated 525 km (326 mi) south of the state’s border with the U.S. state of Arizona. It is also the municipal seat of Cajeme municipality, located in the Yaqui Valley.

The Falkland Islands or Islas Malvinas

51.7S 57.8W

October 2nd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas - September 24th, 2009

Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas - September 24th, 2009

The Falkland Islands, or Islas Malvinas in Spanish, are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located 287 miles (462 km) from the coast of mainland Argentina (visible on the left side of the full image). The islands are a self-governing Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, the capital of which is Stanley, although this claim is disputed by Argentina.

The Falkland Islands comprise two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland (in Spanish Isla Gran Malvina and Isla Soledad respectively), and about 776 small islands. The total land area is 4,700 square miles (12,173 km2), with a coastline estimated at 800 miles (1288 km).

The two main islands on either side of Falkland Sound make up most of the land. Both islands have mountain ranges, the highest point being Mount Usborne, 2312 feet (705 m) on East Falkland. There are also some boggy plains, most notably in Lafonia, on the southern half of East Falkland.

New FAPAR/MGVI Raw Data Processor for Monitoring Vegetation Cover

October 2nd, 2009 Category: Climate Change, Earth Observation, Image of the day, Mosaics

FAPAR Index - Source and Processed products

FAPAR Index - Source and Processed products

FAPAR - Source Product

FAPAR - Source Product

FAPAR - Processed Product

FAPAR - Processed Product

Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) acquires multi-spectral imagery of the Earth, and is used to monitor the state and evolution of the terrestrial vegetation cover.

In particular, the MERIS Global Vegetation Index (MGVI), which corresponds to the Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR), is generated operationally as a standard level-2 product, using the radiation measured by MERIS over land surfaces.

This bio-geophysical product plays a critical role in the plant photosynthetic process and is regularly used in diagnostic and predictive models to compute the primary productivity of the vegetation canopies.

FAPAR has been established as a fundamental surface parameter by international organizations including the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), charged with providing data on the Earth’s climate system.

Chelys has developed a new processor that is able to process and directly extract the FAPAR index from raw data (level-0) at a reduced or full resolution (but also from level-1), generating the relative false-colored image just a few seconds after the original data is ingested.

In the next few weeks, a processor that will systematically generate these vegetation index images will be incorporated in the SRRS (Satellite Rapid Response System). As soon as enough images have been collected, it will be possible to generate mosaics as well.

Typhoon Parma (19W) Hits Northern Philippines

October 2nd, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Typhoon Parma (19W) - October 2nd, 2009

Typhoon Parma (19W) - October 2nd, 2009

Enhanced image

Enhanced image

Track of Parma - October 2nd, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Parma

Typhoon Parma (19W) located approximately 245 nm east of Manila, Philippines, has tracked northwestward at 15 knots over the past six hours.

Typhoon 19W continues to track on the southern periphery of the the sub-tropical ridge to the northeast. The system is expected to continue on a west-northwestward to northwestward track towards the northeastern coast of Luzon, making landfall near tau 12.

The system will weaken as it crosses northern Luzon into the Luzon Strait before moving slowly into the south China Sea. The available numerical model guidance is in poor agreement, with several aids (NGPS, EGRR, GFDN) crossing north-central Luzon and moving further into the south China Sea.

The remaining aids (JGSM, AVNO, WBAR and TCLP) indicate a recurvature scenario, with avno being the most agressive of these (reaching Tokyo at tau 120). This forecast favors the more westward grouping, but reflects the uncertainty in the extended period, tracking much more slowly in the after tau 72.

Maximum significant wave height at 020600z is 32 feet. Please click here for a previous article on both typhoons.

Wildfires Still Blazing Along Queensland and New South Wales Coasts, Australia

27.4S 153.0E

October 2nd, 2009 Category: Fires

Australia - September 24th, 2009

Australia - September 24th, 2009

Fires northeast of Newcastle

Fires northeast of Newcastle

Fires northwest of Coffs Harbour

Fires northwest of Coffs Harbour

Fires from Rockhampton to Fraser Island

Fires from Rockhampton to Fraser Island

Fires continue to blaze along the coast of Queensland (click here for previous article) and New South Wales, Australia. These fires can be seen in the main image as they release smoke over the ocean.

The first two close-ups focus on plumes of smoke from blazes in New South Wales trailing out over the ocean. These fires appear to be in wooded areas further inland, northeast of Newcastle and northwest of Coffs Harbour (near the New South Wales-Queenland border).

The final close-up shows various fires along the coast of Queensland, from Rockhampton (left) to Fraser Island (right). The blazes are being fueled by high temperatures and strong winds.