Science Application Highlight
Terra Data Used to Understand Risk Factors for Rift Valley Fever
Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), an index that shows plants “greenness” or photosynthetic activity, is helping better understand risk factors associated with Rift Valley Fever outbreaks in Southern Africa.
A recent study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s Pub Med looked at epidemiological and environmental risk factors from 2008 – 2011, the worst outbreak of Rift Valley fever in almost 40 years.
Periods of widespread and above-normal rainfall are associated with Rift Valley Fever outbreaks. Researchers combined data from the World Animal Health Information Database (WAHID) on what types of species were affected, where and when with environmental factors including rainfall and NDVI.
The results of the study show that these environmental factors along with geographic factors (topography, drainage, and land use) do play a role in the emergence of Rift Valley Fever.
This study will help the accuracy of future models of areas at risk, allowing more time to adequately prepare and prevent future outbreaks.
Read the full article at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26273812
Terra: the EOS Flagship
Terra explores the connections between Earth's atmosphere, land, snow and ice, ocean, and energy balance to understand Earth's climate and climate change and to map the impact of human activity and natural disasters on communities and ecosystems.
Terra collects data about the Earth’s bio-geochemical and energy systems using five sensors that observe the atmosphere, land surface, oceans, snow and ice, and energy budget. Each sensor has unique features that enable scientists to meet a wide range of science objectives. The five Terra onboard sensors are:
- ASTER, or Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer
- CERES, or Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System
- MISR, or Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer
- MODIS, or Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
- MOPITT, or Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere
Because Terra's five sensors share a platform, they collect complementary observations of Earth's surface and atmosphere. These varying perspectives of the same event can yield unique insights into the processes that connect Earth's systems.