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Creators/Authors contains: "Miller, Charles E."

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  1. Abstract

    Imaging spectroscopy is a powerful tool used to support diverse Earth science and applications objectives, ranging from understanding and mitigating widespread impacts of climate change to management of water at farm‐scale. Community studies, such as those deployed by NASA's Surface Biology and Geology and ESA's Copernicus Hyperspectral Imaging Mission for the Environment, have offered new and tangible insights into user needs that are then incorporated into overall mission planning and design. These technologies and tools will be key to develop and consolidate downstream services for users and resource management, given the current pressures on the environment posed by climate change and population growth. This process has highlighted the degree to which planned mission capabilities are responsive to community needs. In this study, we analyze user requirements belonging to the Italian Copernicus User Forum and to the user pool of NASA's Surface Biology and Geology community for the synergic use of hyperspectral imaging technology, providing a reference for the development of earth observation services and the consolidation of existing ones. In addition, potential cross‐mission coordination is analyzed to highlight key benefits—(a) addressing shared community needs around products requiring more frequent temporal revisit and (b) shared resources and community expertise around algorithm development. This paper discusses the critical role of early engagement with users to establish a community of practice ready to work with high spatial resolution imaging spectroscopy data sets. The main outcome is a guide for the synergetic use of hyperspectral mission and data together with the identification of the main gaps between user needs and satellite capabilities influencing the development of key national and trans‐national downstream services.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Beavers have established themselves as a key component of low arctic ecosystems over the past several decades. Beavers are widely recognized as ecosystem engineers, but their effects on permafrost-dominated landscapes in the Arctic remain unclear. In this study, we document the occurrence, reconstruct the timing, and highlight the effects of beaver activity on a small creek valley confined by ice-rich permafrost on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska using multi-dimensional remote sensing analysis of satellite (Landsat-8, Sentinel-2, Planet CubeSat, and DigitalGlobe Inc./MAXAR) and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) imagery. Beaver activity along the study reach of Swan Lake Creek appeared between 2006 and 2011 with the construction of three dams. Between 2011 and 2017, beaver dam numbers increased, with the peak occurring in 2017 (n = 9). Between 2017 and 2019, the number of dams decreased (n = 6), while the average length of the dams increased from 20 to 33 m. Between 4 and 20 August 2019, following a nine-day period of record rainfall (>125 mm), the well-established dam system failed, triggering the formation of a beaver-induced permafrost degradation feature. During the decade of beaver occupation between 2011 and 2021, the creek valley widened from 33 to 180 m (~450% increase) and the length of the stream channel network increased from ~0.6 km to more than 1.9 km (220% increase) as a result of beaver engineering and beaver-induced permafrost degradation. Comparing vegetation (NDVI) and snow (NDSI) derived indices from Sentinel-2 time-series data acquired between 2017 and 2021 for the beaver-induced permafrost degradation feature and a nearby unaffected control site, showed that peak growing season NDVI was lowered by 23% and that it extended the length of the snow-cover period by 19 days following the permafrost disturbance. Our analysis of multi-dimensional remote sensing data highlights several unique aspects of beaver engineering impacts on ice-rich permafrost landscapes. Our detailed reconstruction of the beaver-induced permafrost degradation event may also prove useful for identifying degradation of ice-rich permafrost in optical time-series datasets across regional scales. Future field- and remote sensing-based observations of this site, and others like it, will provide valuable information for the NSF-funded Arctic Beaver Observation Network (A-BON) and the third phase of the NASA Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) Field Campaign. 
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  3. 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. 
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  5. Abstract

    Boreal‐Arctic regions are key stores of organic carbon (C) and play a major role in the greenhouse gas balance of high‐latitude ecosystems. The carbon‐climate (C‐climate) feedback potential of northern high‐latitude ecosystems remains poorly understood due to uncertainty in temperature and precipitation controls on carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake and the decomposition of soil C into CO2and methane (CH4) fluxes. While CH4fluxes account for a smaller component of the C balance, the climatic impact of CH4outweighs CO2(28–34 times larger global warming potential on a 100‐year scale), highlighting the need to jointly resolve the climatic sensitivities of both CO2and CH4. Here, we jointly constrain a terrestrial biosphere model with in situ CO2and CH4flux observations at seven eddy covariance sites using a data‐model integration approach to resolve the integrated environmental controls on land‐atmosphere CO2and CH4exchanges in Alaska. Based on the combined CO2and CH4flux responses to climate variables, we find that 1970‐present climate trends will induce positive C‐climate feedback at all tundra sites, and negative C‐climate feedback at the boreal and shrub fen sites. The positive C‐climate feedback at the tundra sites is predominantly driven by increased CH4emissions while the negative C‐climate feedback at the boreal site is predominantly driven by increased CO2uptake (80% from decreased heterotrophic respiration, and 20% from increased photosynthesis). Our study demonstrates the need for joint observational constraints on CO2and CH4biogeochemical processes—and their associated climatic sensitivities—for resolving the sign and magnitude of high‐latitude ecosystem C‐climate feedback in the coming decades.

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  6. null (Ed.)