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Creators/Authors contains: "Kimball, John S."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
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  4. Abstract Arctic warming is affecting snow cover and soil hydrology, with consequences for carbon sequestration in tundra ecosystems. The scarcity of observations in the Arctic has limited our understanding of the impact of covarying environmental drivers on the carbon balance of tundra ecosystems. In this study, we address some of these uncertainties through a novel record of 119 site-years of summer data from eddy covariance towers representing dominant tundra vegetation types located on continuous permafrost in the Arctic. Here we found that earlier snowmelt was associated with more tundra net CO 2 sequestration and higher gross primary productivity (GPP) only in June and July, but with lower net carbon sequestration and lower GPP in August. Although higher evapotranspiration (ET) can result in soil drying with the progression of the summer, we did not find significantly lower soil moisture with earlier snowmelt, nor evidence that water stress affected GPP in the late growing season. Our results suggest that the expected increased CO 2 sequestration arising from Arctic warming and the associated increase in growing season length may not materialize if tundra ecosystems are not able to continue sequestering CO 2 later in the season.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  5. The Yukon River basin encompasses over 832,000 km2 of boreal Arctic Alaska and northwest Canada, providing a major transportation corridor and multiple natural resources to regional communities. The river seasonal hydrology is defined by a long winter frozen season and a snowmelt-driven spring flood pulse. Capabilities for accurate monitoring and forecasting of the annual spring freshet and river ice breakup (RIB) in the Yukon and other northern rivers is limited, but critical for understanding hydrologic processes related to snow, and for assessing flood-related risks to regional communities. We developed a regional snow phenology record using satellite passive microwave remote sensing to elucidate interactions between the timing of upland snowmelt and the downstream spring flood pulse and RIB in the Yukon. The seasonal snow metrics included annual Main Melt Onset Date (MMOD), Snowoff (SO) and Snowmelt Duration (SMD) derived from multifrequency (18.7 and 36.5 GHz) daily brightness temperatures and a physically-based Gradient Ratio Polarization (GRP) retrieval algorithm. The resulting snow phenology record extends over a 29-year period (1988–2016) with 6.25 km grid resolution. The MMOD retrievals showed good agreement with similar snow metrics derived from in situ weather station measurements of snowpack water equivalence (r = 0.48, bias = −3.63 days)more »and surface air temperatures (r = 0.69, bias = 1 day). The MMOD and SO impact on the spring freshet was investigated by comparing areal quantiles of the remotely sensed snow metrics with measured streamflow quantiles over selected sub-basins. The SO 50% quantile showed the strongest (p < 0.1) correspondence with the measured spring flood pulse at Stevens Village (r = 0.71) and Pilot (r = 0.63) river gaging stations, representing two major Yukon sub-basins. MMOD quantiles indicating 20% and 50% of a catchment under active snowmelt corresponded favorably with downstream RIB (r = 0.61) from 19 river observation stations spanning a range of Yukon sub-basins; these results also revealed a 14–27 day lag between MMOD and subsequent RIB. Together, the satellite based MMOD and SO metrics show potential value for regional monitoring and forecasting of the spring flood pulse and RIB timing in the Yukon and other boreal Arctic basins.« less
  6. Accurate monitoring of crop condition is critical to detect anomalies that may threaten the economic viability of agriculture and to understand how crops respond to climatic variability. Retrievals of soil moisture and vegetation information from satellite-based remote-sensing products offer an opportunity for continuous and affordable crop condition monitoring. This study compared weekly anomalies in accumulated gross primary production (GPP) from the SMAP Level-4 Carbon (L4C) product to anomalies calculated from a state-scale weekly crop condition index (CCI) and also to crop yield anomalies calculated from county-level yield data reported at the end of the season. We focused on barley, spring wheat, corn, and soybeans cultivated in the continental United States from 2000 to 2018. We found that consistencies between SMAP L4C GPP anomalies and both crop condition and yield anomalies increased as crops developed from the emergence stage (r: 0.4–0.7) and matured (r: 0.6–0.9) and that the agreement was better in drier regions (r: 0.4–0.9) than in wetter regions (r: −0.8–0.4). The L4C provides weekly GPP estimates at a 1-km scale, permitting the evaluation and tracking of anomalies in crop status at higher spatial detail than metrics based on the state-level CCI or county-level crop yields. We demonstrate that themore »L4C GPP product can be used operationally to monitor crop condition with the potential to become an important tool to inform decision-making and research.« less