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Derivation of pan-Arctic soil decomposition rate constant, heterotrophic respiration and NEE using AMSR-E and MODIS data

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An approach was developed for regional assessment and monitoring of land-atmosphere carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange, soil heterotrophic respiration (Rh), and vegetation productivity of Arctic tundra using global satellite remote sensing at optical and microwave wavelengths. C- and X-band brightness temperatures were used from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) to extract surface wetness and temperature, and MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data were used to derive land cover, Leaf Area Index (LAI), and Net Primary Production (NPP) information. Calibration and validation activities involve comparisons between satellite remote sensing and tundra CO2 eddy flux towers, and hydroecological process model simulations. Analyses of spatial and temporal anomalies and environmental drivers of land-atmosphere net CO2 exchange at weekly and annual time steps were conducted. Surface soil moisture and temperature, as detected from satellite remote-sensing observations, were found to be major drivers for spatial and temporal patterns of tundra net ecosystem CO2 exchange and photosynthetic and respiration processes. Satellite microwave measurements are capable of capturing seasonal variations and regional patterns in tundra soil heterotrophic respiration and CO2 exchange, while the ability to extract spatial patterns at the scale of surface heterogeneity is limited by the coarse spatial scale of the satellite remote-sensing footprint. The microwave-derived surface temperature and soil moisture were used to estimate net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) at the boreal-Arctic region. These were validated using flux tower sites data. Existing satellite-based measurements of vegetation structure (i.e. LAI) and productivity (i.e. Gross Primary Production (GPP) and NPP) from the Aqua/Terra MODIS with the AMSR-E-derived land-surface temperature and soil moisture were used and integrated. Spatially explicit estimates of NEE for the pan-Arctic region at daily, weekly and annual intervals were derived. Comparative analysis of satellite data-derived NEE with measurements from CO2 eddy flux tower sites and the BIOME-BGC model were carried out and good agreement was found. The comparative analysis is statistically significant with high regression (i.e. R2 = 0.965), especially in the Rh calculation and the overall NEE regression is 0.478. The results also indicate that the carbon cycle response to climate change is nonlinear and is strongly coupled to Arctic surface hydrology.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: RSIS/Goddard Earth Sciences Data & Information Services Center (GES-DISC), Code 610.2, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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