Characterizing Arctic Land Surfaces Using a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Camera

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Sunday, 4 January 2015
Berenice Oseguera, NOAA-CREST, Mount Vernon, NY; and N. C. Steiner and K. McDonald

The exchange of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases with the atmosphere over the Alaskan Arctic have important implications for future climate change. Direct measurements of greenhouse gases from aircraft and stationary observations, as part of the Carbon in the Arctic Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE), determine the rate at which greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere and are drawn-down during ecosystem processes. The CARVE mission is to provide an integrated set of data that will provide unprecedented experimental insights into Arctic carbon cycling. The seasonal freezing and thawing (F/T) cycle is important to the carbon and methane exchange with the atmosphere. In order to study the role of seasonal F/T processes in the carbon cycle, in-situ station and aircraft data are gathered in Alaska. We will use thermal images from a forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera to characterize land surfaces underlain by permafrost during specific phases of the freeze-thaw cycle. The FLIR camera, flown during the 2013 CARVE campaign, records images of the surface skin temperature directly under the CARVE aircraft while it measures concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone in the atmosphere. In future studies, measurements of the temperature and the freeze-thaw state of various landscape components, including the soil and vegetation, will be combined with measurements of atmospheric gas concentrations to better understand the role of surface processes in the exchange of greenhouse gases with the atmosphere in the Alaskan arctic.