Regional Scaling of Airborne Eddy Covariance Flux Observation

Jorg.Hartmann [ at ]


The earth’s surface is tightly coupled to the global climate system by the vertical exchange of energy and matter. Thus, to better understand and potentially predict changes to our climate system, it is critical to quantify the surface-atmosphere exchange of heat, water vapor, and greenhouse gases on climate-relevant spatial and temporal scales. Currently, most flux observations consist of ground-based, continuous but local measurements. These provide a good basis for temporal integration, but may not be representative of the larger regional context. This is particularly true for the Arctic, where site selection is additionally bound by logistical constraints, among others. Airborne measurements can overcome this limitation by covering distances of hundreds of kilometers over time periods of a few hours. The Airborne Measurements of Methane Fluxes (AIRMETH) campaigns are designed to quantitatively and spatially explicitly address this issue: The research aircraft POLAR 5 is used to acquire thousands of kilometers of eddy-covariance flux data. During the AIRMETH-2012 and AIRMETH-2013 campaigns we measured the turbulent exchange of energy, methane, and (in 2013) carbon dioxide over the North Slope of Alaska, USA, and the Mackenzie Delta, Canada. Here, we present the potential of environmental response functions (ERFs) for quantitatively linking flux observations to meteorological and biophysical drivers in the flux footprints. We use wavelet transforms of the original high-frequency data to improve spatial discretization of the flux observations. This also enables the quantification of continuous and biophysically relevant land cover properties in the flux footprint of each observation. A machine learning technique is then employed to extract and quantify the functional relationships between flux observations and the meteorological and biophysical drivers. The resulting ERFs are used to extrapolate fluxes over spatio-temporally explicit grids of the study area. The presentation will focus on 2012 sensible and latent heat fluxes observed over the North Slope of Alaska and the scaling performance of the ERF approach.

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Conference (Invited talk)
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AGU Fall Meeting, 14 Dec 2014 - 18 Dec 2014, San Francisco.
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Sachs, T. , Serafimovich, A. , Metzger, S. , Kohnert, K. and Hartmann, J. (2014): Regional Scaling of Airborne Eddy Covariance Flux Observation , AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, 14 December 2014 - 18 December 2014 .

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