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 Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>