S211 'Analysis of Freeze and Thaw Dates in High Mountain Asia using Satellite Remote Sensing'

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Khaing Hsu Wai, NOAA, New York, NY; and J. Chiu, T. Lakhankar, and N. Krakauer

Glacier melt over the Himalayan region influences input for hydrologic systems that feed many critical rivers and fisheries for downstream water supply and the hydropower generation. Shifts in seasonal Freeze/Thaw/Melt (F/T/M) cycles with a changing climate could affect up to billions of people who depend on the rivers of Nepal, India, China and Myanmar. Derived from the NASA Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) on EUMETSAT Metop-A and Metop-B satellites operating at 5.255 GHz (C-band), a daily F/T/M data is available based on vertically polarized (V-pol) backscatter measurements over seasonally frozen land and glacierized areas for the High Mountain Asia region. Soil moisture and temperature data were obtained from Third Pole Environment (TPE) database, a network of Chinese stations over the Tibetan Plateau. These ground soil moisture and temperature data are compared with the ASCAT satellite product over the period 2008 to 2016. Statistical analysis of the NASA ASCAT data compared with in-situ data is performed to validate the satellite-retrieval data, find trends, and quantify and characterize errors. NASA ASCAT data also is compared with the data from European Space Agency Sentinel-1 Satellites that uses the microwave C-band. Moreover, the accuracy of the scatterometer will be evaluated too for future research purposes. The goal of the project is to help predict seasonal soil freeze/thaw cycles, which can help study how climate change affects locations differently, and the far-reaching hydrologic impacts of changing snow cover, and improve modeling of future climate predictions.
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