New Vegetation Climate Data Record

Leaf Area Index and Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation Climate Data Record Map

The Leaf Area Index and Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation Climate Data Record

NCDC is announcing the release of the Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) Climate Data Record. Developed by NOAA funded work at the University of Maryland, the LAI/FAPAR CDR is derived from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer Global Area Coverage data obtained from the NOAA POES series of satellites. The LAI/FAPAR CDR is a high-resolution, daily product on a 0.05° by 0.05° grid, and it provides valuable vegetation data dating back to 1981. This consistent, long-term record of remotely sensed vegetation observations allows scientists to characterize the health of vegetation in different regions across the world.

The LAI/FAPAR CDR joins NCDC’s Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) CDR in providing variables that can quantify the health and productivity of vegetation. While the values in the NDVI CDR indicate the presence of water or near-barren land, the LAI values help scientists assess the growth and vigor of vegetation and FAPAR values indicate the presence of healthy and efficient vegetation.

The LAI/FAPAR CDR data are valuable to meteorologists, climate modelers, and researchers in a wide range of applications, including drought detection and monitoring at finer resolutions than previously possible. Climatologists can also use the LAI/FAPAR CDR to forecast agricultural yields as well as to determine long-term patterns of the carbon cycle.

As with all operational CDRs, the LAI/FAPAR CDR meets rigorous quality standards recommended by the National Academy of Sciences and other expert organizations to help ensure consistent and reliable products. Visit the Operational Climate Data Records page to access the LAI/FAPAR CDR, and learn more about all of NCDC’s CDRs from the Climate Data Record Program