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ISLSCP II GIMMS Monthly NDVI, 1981-2002
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Revision date: March 31, 2010


The Global Inventory Modelling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data sets were generated to provide a 22-year satellite record of monthly changes in terrestrial vegetation. This data set contains three data files provided at spatial resolutions of 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 degree in latitude and longitude with data from July 1981 through December 2002. New features include reduced NDVI variations arising from calibration, view geometry, volcanic aerosols, and other effects not related to actual vegetation change. In particular, NOAA-9 descending node data from September 1994 to January 1995, volcanic stratospheric aerosol correction for 1982-1984 and 1991-1994, and improved NDVI using empirical mode decomposition/reconstruction (EMD) to minimize effects of orbital drift. Global NDVI was generated to provide inputs for computing the time series of biophysical parameters contained in the International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP) Initiative II collection. NDVI is used in climate models and biogeochemical models to calculate photosynthesis, the exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and the land surface, land-surface evapotranspiration and the absorption and release of energy by the land surface.

Additional Documentation:

This data set is one of the products of the International Satellite Land-Surface Climatology Project, Initiative II (ISLSCP II) data collection which contains 50 global time series data sets for the ten-year period 1986 to 1995. A complete description of the data, their derivation, acknowledgements, and references provided by the ISLSCP II Data Management Staff is included with this data set as a companion file named 1_gimms_ndvi_doc.pdf .

ISLSCP II is a consistent collection of data sets that were compiled from existing data sources and algorithms, and were designed to satisfy the needs of modelers and investigators of the global carbon, water and energy cycle. The data were acquired from a number of U.S. and international agencies, universities, and institutions. The data and documentation have undergone two peer reviews.

ISLSCP is one of several projects of Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) [] and has the lead role in addressing land-atmosphere interactions -- process modeling, data retrieval algorithms, field experiment design and execution, and the development of global data sets.

Related Data Sets

ISLSCP II FASIR-adjusted NDVI, 1982-1998

ISLSCP II FASIR-adjusted NDVI Biophysical Parameter Fields, 1982-1998

ISLSCP II Leaf Area Index (LAI) from Field Measurements, 1932-2000


Data Citation:

Cite this data set as follows:

Tucker, C.J., J. Pinzon, M. Brown, and GIMMS/GSFC/NASA. 2010. ISLSCP II GIMMS Monthly NDVI, 1981-2002.  In Hall, Forrest G., G. Collatz, B. Meeson, S. Los, E. Brown de Colstoun, and D. Landis (eds.). ISLSCP Initiative II Collection. Data set. Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/973

File Information:

The archived data sets for ISLSCP II have been organized by categories. This data set is in the vegetation category--a collection of vegetation and albedo data sets.

Data Set Spatial Extent: Global gridded

Westernmost Longitude: -180 W

Easternmost Longitude: 180 E

Northernmost Latitude: 90 N

Southernmost Latitude: -90 S

Projection: Geographic

Data Set Spatial Resolution: one, half, and quarter degree in both latitude and longitude

Data Set Temporal Extent: July 1981-December 2002

Data File Format

All of the data files in each data set within the ISLSCP Initiative II data collection are in ESRI ASCII GRID format for ArcInfo. The file format consists of numerical fields of varying length, which are delimited by a single space and arranged in columns and rows.

There are 3 data files in this data set with a  spatial resolution of  one degree, half degree, and quarter degree respectively: Each  file contains data from July 1981 through December 2002.

Data file naming conventions are described in the 0_gimms_ndvi_readme.txt 


Data Access:

These data are available through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC)  [].

Data Archive Contact Information:

Telephone: +1 (865) 241-3952