Spatial variability of aircraft-measured surface energy fluxes in permafrost landscapes

Jorg.Hartmann [ at ]


Arctic ecosystems are undergoing a very rapid change due to global warming and their response to climate change has important implications for the global energy budget. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how energy fluxes in the Arctic will respond to any changes in climate related parameters. However, attribution of these responses is challenging because measured fluxes are the sum of multiple processes that respond differently to environmental factors. Here, we present the potential of environmental response functions for quantitatively linking energy flux observations over high latitude permafrost wetlands to environmental drivers in the flux footprints. We used the research aircraft POLAR 5 equipped with a turbulence probe and fast temperature and humidity sensors to measure turbulent energy fluxes along flight tracks across the Alaskan North Slope with the aim to extrapolate the airborne eddy covariance flux measurements from their specific footprint to the entire North Slope. After thorough data pre-processing, wavelet transforms are used to improve spatial discretization of flux observations in order to relate them to biophysically relevant surface properties in the flux footprint. Boosted regression trees are then employed to extract and quantify the functional relationships between the energy fluxes and environmental drivers. Finally, the resulting environmental response functions are used to extrapolate the sensible heat and water vapor exchange over spatio-temporally explicit grids of the Alaskan North Slope. Additionally, simulations from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model were used to explore the dynamics of the atmospheric boundary layer and to examine results of our extrapolation.

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Conference (Poster)
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4th European Conference on Permafrost, 18 Jun 2014 - 21 Jun 2014, Évora, Portugal.
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Serafimovich, A. , Metzger, S. , Hartmann, J. , Wieneke, S. , Kohnert, K. and Sachs, T. (2014): Spatial variability of aircraft-measured surface energy fluxes in permafrost landscapes , 4th European Conference on Permafrost, Évora, Portugal, 18 June 2014 - 21 June 2014 .

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