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    Author(s): David Schimel; Fabian D. Schneider; Anthony Bloom; Kevin Bowman; Kerry Cawse-Nicholson; Calyton Elder; Antonio Ferraz; Joshua Fisher; Glynn Hulley; Junjie Liu; Troy Magney; Victoria Meyer; Charles Miller; Nicholas Parazoo; Ryan Pavlick; Podest Erika; Saatchi Sassan; Natasha Stavros; Michael Keller; Townsend Philip; Zheng Ting
    Date: 2019
    Source: New Phytologist
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: International Institute of Tropical Forestry
    PDF: Download Publication  (5.0 MB)

    Description

    Global ecology – the study of the interactions among the Earth’s ecosystems, land, atmosphere and oceans – depends crucially on global observations: this paper focuses on space-based observations of global terrestrial ecosystems. Early global ecology relied on an extrapolation of detailed site-level observations, using models of increasing complexity. Modern global ecology has been enabled largely by vegetation indices (greenness) from operational space-based imagery but current capabilities greatly expand scientific possibilities. New observations from spacecraft in orbit allowed an estimation of gross carbon fluxes, photosynthesis, biomass burning, evapotranspiration and biomass, to create virtual eddy covariance sites in the sky. Planned missions will reveal the dimensions of the diversity of life itself. These observations will improve our understanding of the global productivity and carbon storage, land use, carbon cycleclimate feedback, diversity productivity relationships and enable improved climate forecasts. Advances in remote sensing challenge ecologists to relate information organised by biome and species to new data arrayed by pixels and develop theory to address previously unobserved scales.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Schimel, David; Schneider, Fabian D.; JPL Carbon and Ecosystem Participants. 2019. Flux towers in the sky: global ecology from space. New Phytologist. 114: 13-. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15934.

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    Keywords

    Ecology, Vegetation Indices, Carbon, Climate.

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