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Free Picture: Greener Pastures in Northern Queensland, Australia

Free Picture of Greener Pastures in Northern Queensland, Australia

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After a 19 month rainfall deficiency, heavy rainfall during January 2004 brought drought relief to much of northern Queensland. Local graziers hope for good long-term responses in pasture growth from the heavy rains. These images and maps from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) portray part of Australia's Mitchell Grasslands bioregion before summer rainfall, on October 18, 2003 (left) and afterwards, on February 7, 2004 (right). The top pair of images are natural color views from MISR's nadir camera. The green areas in the post-rainfall image highlight the growth of vegetation. The middle panels show the reflectivity of the surface over the photosynthetically active region (PAR) of visible light (400 - 700 nm), expressed as a directional-hemispherical reflectance (DHR-PAR), or albedo. That portion of the radiation that is not reflected back to the atmosphere or space is absorbed by either the vegetation or the soil. The fraction of PAR radiation absorbed by green vegetation, known as FPAR, is shown in the bottom panels. FPAR is one of the quantities that establishes the photosynthetic and carbon uptake efficiency of live vegetation. MISR's FPAR product makes use of aerosol retrievals to correct for atmospheric scattering and absorption effects, and uses plant canopy structural models to determine the partitioning of solar radiation. Both of these aspects are facilitated by the multiangular nature of the MISR measurements.

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