Neil Armstrong Distinguished Visiting Fellow lecture: Dara Entekhabi
|Event Date:||October 10, 2019|
|School or Program:||Aeronautics and Astronautics
Land Water, Energy and Carbon Cycles Coupling Diagnosed from Remotely Sensed Global Observations from NASA's SMAP Mission
Bacardi and Stockholm Water Foundations Chair Professor, Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory for Environmental Science and Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Over land the three main cycles that govern the climate and metabolism of the Earth system – the water, energy and carbon cycles – are strongly coupled together. Disturbances in one cycle propagate to the others through this coupling. Shortcomings in the characterization of this coupling are a major source of error and divergence among projections of future climate based on Earth System models. A variable that controls the degree of coupling among the three main cycles is soil moisture. Soil moisture affects water and heat loss as well as vegetation transpiration and soil respiration. In this talk global maps of surface soil moisture recently obtained from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, together with data from other sensors, are used to diagnose the degree of coupling in different environments. The soil moisture observations are made by. The data are used to address science questions in global water cycle dynamics and global ecology where soil moisture affects the rates of evaporation and transpiration.