Estimating Surface Energy Fluxes in Greenland through Remote Sensing and Field Measurements

Estimating Surface Energy Fluxes in Greenland through Remote Sensing and Field Measurements

Jordi Cristóbal Rosselló

Fakultet / Forskningsinstitution:
Naturvidenskab / Asiaq

Estimating Surface Energy Fluxes in Greenland through Remote Sensing and Field Measurements

Greenland’s ecosystems are witnessing unprecedented changes in response to climate warming. However, the intensity of feedbacks between the hydrosphere and vegetation change are not yet well quantified in Greenland regions. This lends considerable uncertainty to predictions of how much, how fast, and where the hydrosphere and Greenland ecosystems will change. Therefore, quantifying the surface energy balance and its spatio-temporal trends in Greenland is key to resolving these questions. The main scientific goal of the proposed study is to estimate the spatio-temporal surface energy fluxes in selected Greenland ecosystems by means of a two-source energy balance model and mapping framework in the active vegetation growing season. To address this objective, we will develop a modeling framework that synergistically combines well established flux towers on the most widespread tundra types and remote sensing data for selected periods from 2010 to present. The methodology proposed here will improve the understanding of the structure and function of global terrestrial ecosystems and their interactions with the atmosphere and hydrosphere, by proposing a diagnostic modeling approach that will provide a practical way for large-area assessments of surface energy and water balance components which are difficult or impractical to achieve in Greenland ecosystems using existing modeling tools. 

Metoder for inklusion af samfundet og formidling overfor samfundet:
This dataset will be of significant scientific value in better understanding the physical interactions within Greenland ecosystems, especially the hydrologic cycle. Greenland’s future infrastructure development and resource exploration also requires an understanding of the current and projected land surface hydrology as it relates to climate warming trends. In a country that is vast, rugged, and largely not amenable to rigorous field testing, remote sensing arguably provides the only feasible way for mapping and understanding the underlying Earth processes driving the surface changes at large watershed or regional scales. Additionally, this project will yield direct economic benefits for Greenland because spatially distributed evapotranspiration estimates are critical for projecting water availability, for managing water, and land (wildfires) resources. This project is also embedded in the GEM ( remote sensing activities and, thus, will cater an active GL ecosystem community. The outcomes of this project will be: a) calibration and validation of the methodology framework (see Fig. 1) using selected data from 2010 to present; b) dataset and maps of energy fluxes for selected periods from the study area; c) submission of at least one scientific paper to a peer-reviewed journal. The resulting dataset will be available through Asiaq’s webpage following OGC international metadata standards.

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