Evaluation of the change in soil conditions with the newly established nation-wide soil network (USCRN)

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Jesse E. Bell, CICS/North Carolina State University, Asheville, NC

NOAA's U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) recently added soil monitoring to the suite of climate observations. The goal for including soil observations was to improve the drought-monitoring capabilities of the United States. Because the installation of the soil observations was completed in 2011, there is a relatively short time series to analyze trends or changes in soil conditions. However from 2011-2013, a dramatic shift in soil conditions occurred across the United States from flooding in 2011 to a substantial drought in 2012. These unique events provide an excellent opportunity to understand variations in soil moisture and temperature at large spatial scales. This presentation will focus on examining some of the responses of soil moisture and temperature to the dramatic changes in climate conditions during the first couple years with a full data record. Emphasis will be on understanding the relationship of soil moisture to other metrics of drought monitoring (e.g. US Drought Monitor) and ecosystem processes (e.g. NDVI). The objective of this work is to show the utility of the soil observations from NOAA's USCRN.