Satellite data is underutilized in the Arctic. There is a desire among the various science disciplines to use remote sensing to support ongoing biodiversity assessments and monitoring. In addition, remote sensing data also has value for site-specific and regional applications.

CAFF, through the CBMP is creating a framework to harness remote sensing potential for use in Arctic biodiversity monitoring and assessment activities and to produce a series of satellite-based remote sensing products focussing on the circumpolar Arctic.

MODIS satellite products of relevance to  Arctic processes are being converted to a more Arctic-friendly projection, facilitating a top-of-the-world analysis perspective.

Satellite products are being developed for use by different stakeholder groups and products will be organized by terrestrial, marine, coastal, and freshwater disciplines. Landsat images will be used to generate additional remote sensing products at fine scale.

The Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) is assisting CAFF on selecting and providing MODIS satellite products for this system. This is an ongoing effort that will continue to evolve and improve over time.


From CAFF's Webinar series, listen to the project team present their results and next steps:




Cursory analyses have been conducted to display the potential of the MODIS suite of products in studying the pan-Arctic ecosystem.

CAFF is working wtih the Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI) and the MTRI to make this information available on the  Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS).

These include early warning indicators such as:

Sea surface temperature

Land surface temperature

Snow covered area

Marine net primary productivity

Marine chlorophyll-a

Land cover type


Colored Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM)






Arctic States

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