Monitoring Essential Climate Variables from Space: Methodological Issues of Land Monitoring
Monday 15th November 2010, 3:00-5:00pm
Monitoring climate change and its impacts is only possible with long-term datasets. Satellite remote sensing has played a vital role in collecting long-term data, and has revealed insights into processes happening in remote places, over longer time scales and in spatial patterns that would not have been expected. The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) has identified a list of so-called Essential Climate Variables in the atmospheric, ocean and terrestrial domains. This talk will describe the international context of the ongoing efforts to coordinate the monitoring of climate relevant variables from space. It will focus on selected terrestrial Essential Climate Variables, which include river discharge, water use, ground water, lake levels, snow cover, glaciers and ice caps, permafrost and seasonally-frozen ground, albedo, land cover (including vegetation type), fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR), leaf area index (LAI), biomass, fire disturbance and soil moisture.
We will review the foundations of satellite remote sensing methods to map and monitor land surface properties, investigate some of the methological issues and advantages and limitations of remote sensing, discuss selected examples of research projects that have produced maps and time series data from satellites, evaluate validation methods and finish with an outlook on the future of the global Earth observing system.
Earth observation, remote sensing, climate change, land surface, vegetation monitoring