Although designed primarily for weather observations, NOAA's operational polar satellites have the potential to provide considerable information on global change. The weather/climate products routinely produced from these satellites and relevant to global change are discussed. They include: ocean surface temperatures, snow cover area for Europe and Eurasia, Arctic and Antarctic sea ice area, global vegetation index, narrow-band estimates of the Earth's radiation budget, atmospheric ozone, and stratospheric temperatures. Global and hemispheric time series of these variables as determined from satellites are presented. Algorithms for new products--aerosol optical depth, surface radiation budget, land surface temperature, cloud amounts and heights, precipitation, and cloud liquid water--are being developed. NOAA's plans for the NOAA K,L,M satellite series and the Polar Platform are discussed. © 1989.
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