Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Nature Communications


Assessing the seasonal patterns of the Amazon rainforests has been difficult because of the paucity of ground observations and persistent cloud cover over these forests obscuring optical remote sensing observations. Here, we use data from a new generation of geostationary satellites that carry the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) to study the Amazon canopy. ABI is similar to the widely used polar orbiting sensor, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), but provides observations every 10–15 min. Our analysis of NDVI data collected over the Amazon during 2018–19 shows that ABI provides 21–35 times more cloud-free observations in a month than MODIS. The analyses show statistically significant changes in seasonality over 85% of Amazon forest pixels, an area about three times greater than previously reported using MODIS data. Though additional work is needed in converting the observed changes in seasonality into meaningful changes in canopy dynamics, our results highlight the potential of the new generation geostationary satellites to help us better understand tropical ecosystems, which has been a challenge with only polar orbiting satellites.


Published in Nature Communications by Nature Research. Available via doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-20994-y.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit licenses/by/4.0/.