Investigating Tundra and Taiga Biomes with Remote Sensing. Jessica Robin SSAI/NASA/GSFC. Photo courtesy of M. K. Raynolds. Photo – M. K. Raynolds. Outline of presentation. Climate change and arctic vegetation Remote sensing research Field research by Martha Reynolds (UAF)
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Investigating Tundra and Taiga Biomes with Remote Sensing
Photo courtesy of M. K. Raynolds
Photo – M. K. Raynolds
Arctic Temperatures (1966-1995)
Image courtesy of National Snow & Ice Center
Image courtesy of Goddard Institute of Space Science
Northern Greening (1981-1999)
Image courtesy of Liming Zhou, Boston University
Photo – D. A. Walker
Report put out in 2004 by the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)International panel
The summary report, graphics and detailed scientific report can be found on the web at:
Arctic vegetation zones are very likely to shift causing wide-ranging impacts.
Remote Sensing Research
Goetz et al. 2005 summary of 1981-2003 trends in AVHRR NDVI
Jia and Epstein
Recent studies have shown increases in satellite-sensed indices (NDVI) of circumpolar tundra vegetation.
NDVI of boreal forests shows decreasing trends.
10% increase in NDVI
10-day spring shift in growing season length
Goetz et al. 2005. PNAS,102: 13521-13525
(Sturm et al. 2001)
Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Riordan et al. 2006 JGR
Shrinking lakes due to warmer temperatures leading to changes in permafrost and more evaporation affects vegetation.
Community changes in ITEX experiment after 6 years
Arctic tundra bioclimate subzones
a – mosses, liverworts and lichens, b – forbs, c – prostrate dwarf-shrubs, d – non-tussock graminoids, e -hemiprostrate dwarf shrubs, f – erect dwarf shrubs, g – low shrubs, h – tussock graminoids
of the Tundra Bioclimate Zone
A = coldest
E = warmest
Research with GLOBE Data
(Myneni, R.B., Keeling, C.D., Tucker, C.J., Asrar, G., and Nemani, R.R., 1997, Increased plant growth in the northern high latitudes from 1981 to 1991, Nature, 386:698-702.)
Public, Charter, Private, Home
Anchorage area (3)
Fairbanks area (7)
Lat: 61.17° – 64.85° N
Lon: 147.52°-149.41° W
(Viereck, Leslie, A. and Little, Elbert L. Jr. 1972. Alaska Trees and Shrubs. Agriculture Handbook No. 410. Forest Service, USDA, Washington D.C)
GLOBE Students, Alaska
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Pratt and Elena Sparrow, U of Alaska Fairbanks