Carbon Balance in Northern Latitudes: Novel Assessment Methods Applying Combined
Ground-Based and Earth Observation Data (CARB-BAL)

The Academy of Finland, 2009-2011

Consortium leader: Prof. Jouni Pulliainen, Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)
Other partners: Prof. Annikki Mäkelä, University of Helsinki (UHEL)
Prof. Tuomas Häme, VTT
Lic.Phil. Yrjö Sucksdorff, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
Dr. Aleksi Lehtonen, Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA)

UHe is involved in WP3 of the consortium, with the objective of developing models of CO2 exchange in forests across large areas.

People: Annikki Mäkelä, Mikko Peltoniemi, Minna Pulkkinen

Consortium CARB-BAL

The objective of the project is to investigate how multi-source data from the current and near-future Earth observing satellite instruments, together with (a) carbon flux modelling and (b) ground based observations can improve our understanding of the carbon cycle in the northern latitudes. The main hypothesis to be tested is:

The annual accumulative carbon flow in boreal forests can be mapped extensively in major parts of northern Eurasia by applying space-borne satellite data as input to dedicated modelling that takes into account the spatially varying soil and vegetation. This is based on the capability of satellite instruments to determine the timing of snow melt (snow disappearance) and the frost status/thawing of soil and vegetation during autumn. The relevant space-borne instruments include microwave scatterometers and radiometers as well as optical/infrared region spectroradiometers.

The novelty of the project lies on two subjects: 1) carbon flow will be provided for extensive areas instead of local point-wise values as typical for conventional methods and 2) a selection of geophysical and biological variables will be produced using remote sensing data by microwave instruments instead of optical ones whose products are most frequently contaminated by clouds in high northern latitudes. (Optical data from satellites and ground-based cameras are however important during the growing season and spring-melt period). The carbon balance (sink/source) assessment methods that are developed in the project include: Ground-based observations of carbon balance by continuous micrometeorological methods; ground-based observations of vegetation structure and soil properties, remote-sensing-data based land/forest biomass/LAI in-formation; models of canopy processes and stand growth; and monitoring with space-borne remote sensing instruments. The methods are developed and tested for the region of Finland. Demonstration expreriments are carried out for northern Eurasia.

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