Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA-Funded Study Tracks Climate Change on Three Continents

10.02.2011
A new study funded by NASA will look at whether climate change on three continents could be affecting the way fire behaves in North America, South America, and Australia.

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration grant of $1,950,135 will fund the three-year project. Researchers will analyze satellite data, as well as historical climate and fire data, for the entire continent of Australia, the lower 48 states in North America, and the Brazilian Amazon region in South America.

Principal investigator Mark Cochrane of South Dakota State University said the idea is that climate change could change the vegetation and hydrology in affected regions, perhaps resulting in more droughts and periods of intense fire behavior.

“We know that as climate changes, the vegetation has to respond. If it’s a short-term change, nothing happens. But if it’s a long-term change where an area gets drier or wetter, the vegetation will grow more, or less, or change in structure,” Cochrane said. “One of the things we’re testing is whether those changes that stress vegetation correlate to more fires, and more severe fires. So we determine where these large fires occurred and see if those correlate to the areas where the vegetation should be changing due to climate changes.”

The study will make use of NASA data from the Landsat and MODIS satellite systems in order to produce the first multicontinent analyses of fire regime shifts due to climate and land use changes — work that will also help researchers to estimate the effectiveness of ongoing mitigation efforts.

“Only through this type of large-scale study that incorporates many of the world’s ecosystems, land management approaches and climates, will it be possible to provide the context necessary to understand how fire is responding to climate change,” Cochrane said. “We will quantify changes in fire danger since 1901 — since 1948 in Amazonia — as well as fire incidence and fire effects in recent decades.”

The research will help people better understand the likelihood for future extreme fire events to occur. That will allow for better planning and mitigation efforts. Without the study, Cochrane said, humans could be increasingly vulnerable to unforeseen and potentially catastrophic shifts in fire regimes as the climate continues to change.

Cochrane, a professor in SDSU’s Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence, or GIScCE, is working with other experts across several disciplines.

His co-investigators are professor David Bowman from the University of Tasmania, Australia; senior researcher Carlos Souza of IMAZON, Brazil; professor David Roy of the GIScCE at South Dakota State University; research forest ecologist Kevin Ryan of the USDA Forest Service, Missoula, Mont.; senior scientist Thomas Loveland of the U.S. Geological Survey in Sioux Falls, S.D.; assistant professor Eugenio Arima of the University of Texas at Austin; senior scientist Jinxun Liu of SGT (contractor to USGS), Sioux Falls, S.D.; and professor Michael Wimberly of the GIScCE at South Dakota State University.

Lance Nixon | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.sdstate.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>