THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
GLOBAL CLIMATE OBSERVING SYSTEM
ESSENTIAL CLIMATE VARIABLE - Land cover
DomainTerrestrialDescriptionLand cover influences climate by modifying water and energy exchanges with the atmosphere and by changing greenhouse gas and aerosol sources and sinks. The amount of carbon in vegetation is roughly similar to the atmosphere; that in soils is significantly larger. [GCOS-195 6.3.10]
Sub-domain-
Full NameLand cover
Satellite Signficant ContributionYes
GCOS Actions
Action
Status*
DescriptionWhoTime FramePerformance IndicatorCost Implications
T26
Cat-B
Produce reliable accepted methods for land-cover map accuracy assessment. Who: CEOS WGCV, in collaboration with GOFC-GOLD and GLCN.    
T27
Cat-C
Generate annual products documenting global land-cover characteristics and dynamics at resolutions between 250 m and 1 km, according to internationally-agreed standards and accompanied by statistical descriptions of their accuracy.    
T28
Cat-C
Generate maps documenting global land cover based on continuous 10-30 m land surface imagery every 5 years, according to internationally-agreed standards and accompanied by statistical descriptions of their accuracy.    
*GCOS-195 Status Categories: Category A: Action completed, perhaps exceeding reasonable expectations. Very good progress on ongoing tasks. Category B: Action largely completed according to expectation. Good progress on ongoing tasks. Category C: Moderate progress overall, although progress may be good for some part of the action. Category D: Limited progress overall, although progress may be moderate or good for some part of the action. Category E: Very little or no progress, or deterioration rather than progress.
GCOS Products
ProductNameVariable/
Parameter
Related Measurements/
Instruments
from CEOS DB
T.6.1Moderate-resolution maps of land-cover typeMaps of land-cover type
High- resolution map of land-cover change
Land surface temperature
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)
Vegetation type
Land cover
Land surface imagery
Vegetation Canopy (cover)
Vegetation Cover
T.6.2High-resolution maps of land-cover type, for the detection of land-cover changeMaps of land-cover type
High- resolution map of land-cover change
Land surface temperature
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)
Vegetation type
Land cover
Land surface imagery
Vegetation Canopy (cover)
Vegetation Cover
CEOS Response[T27 (T.6.1, T.6.2)]

2015 Update: VIIRS land products are currently under development and initial products may be available in late 2015. See additional information at following the Action, GCOS/CEOS Action T28, SS: T.12.

The Land cover cci project performed optical (MERIS, SPOT-VGT, Proba-V, AVHRR) and SAR (ASAR) image classification, in consultation with international partners, IGBP, GOFC- GOLD, FAO, EEA and JRC, the Land_Cover_cci, to provide:
  • Global moderate resolution (300m) land cover maps for epochs: 1990, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015
  • Land cover seasonality characterisation: vegetation greenness, snow and burned area
  • Global map of permanent water bodies
Higher resolution land cover mapping is being demonstrated over Africa with Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 data.

Products are supplemented by a tool for subsetting, re-projecting and re-sampling the products for use in climate modelling.

See: http://www.esa-landcover-cci.org


[T28 (T.12)]

2015 Update: Key activities:
  • Peer review of product strategy (completed)
  • Develop land cover fraction 2010 continental prototype (completed 2014)
  • Completion of a global land cover validation data set (completed 2015)
  • Completion of validated global land cover fractions for 2000-2010 (in progress)
  • Completion of validated global land cover types for 2010 (in progress)
  • Transition into operational annual monitoring (TBD)
  • Improve global 30m imagery data set coverage (TBD)
The USGS, in collaboration with the University of Maryland and other partners, has completed the first Global datasets comprised of per tree cover, percent water, and percent barren land. A validation dataset comprised of 500+ globally distributed sites has been compiled based on high-resolution commercial satellite imagery and from which corresponding percent cover (tree, water, barren) and thematic classifications have been developed. The validation of the circa 2010 datasets is underway and results will be submitted for peer reviewed journal publication.

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