Publication details

Mitigation of Arctic Tundra Surface Warming by Plant Evapotranspiration: Complete Energy Balance Component Estimation Using LANDSAT Satellite Data

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NEDBAL Vaclav LÁSKA Kamil BROM Jakub

Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Remote Sensing
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords solar energy distribution; arctic tundra surface energy balance; vegetation and evapotranspiration; LANDSAT; vegetation cooling
Description Global climate change is expected to cause a strong temperature increase in the polar regions, accompanied by a reduction in snow cover. Due to a lower albedo, bare ground absorbs more solar energy and its temperature can increase more. Here, we show that vegetation growth in such bare ground areas can efficiently mitigate surface warming in the Arctic, thanks to plant evapotranspiration. In order to establish a comprehensive energy balance for the Arctic land surface, we used an ensemble of methods of ground-based measurements and multispectral satellite image analysis. Our estimate is that the low vegetation of polar tundra transforms 26% more solar energy into evapotranspiration than bare ground in clear sky weather. Due to its isolation properties, vegetation further reduces ground heat flux under the surface by similar to 4%, compared to bare areas, thus lowering the increase in subsurface temperature. As a result, similar to 22% less solar energy can be transformed into sensible heat flux at vegetated surfaces as opposed to bare ground, bringing about a decrease in surface temperature of similar to 7.8 degrees C.
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