On April 12, the leading Australian rural and current affairs television show “Landline” featured our comparative map of Queensland, showing ground cover following a good wet in 2011 versus the failed wet of 2015 (both images were captured in the February of the respective years)
The data used was provided by the AusCover facility http://www.auscover.org.au and has been presented by the NRM Spatial Hub on behalf of the Rangeland NRM Alliance.
The MODIS Terra & Aqua satellites are used to produce a monthly composite of all MODIS fractional cover images.
Landcover fractions are defined as the proportions of green, non-green and bare cover. Ground cover is defined as the vegetation (living and dead), biological crusts and stones that are in contact with the soil surface.
Ground cover levels may vary due to anthropogenic management of grazing enterprises and agricultural land management practices, or changes in seasonal rainfall.
The release of these comparative maps encouraged great discussion, from producers in drought-declared regions of Queensland to policy makers.