WP 1.3 Land Surface & Regional Climate

Interaction between Land Surface and Regional Climate

During the last decades, humans have changed the land surface more rapidly and extensively than they have done in any period before. Both anthropogenic impact and climate variations have led to changes in vegetation and land cover. These changes also alter biogeophysical properties of the land surface such as albedo, Leaf Area Index (LAI) and surface roughness and can thus significantly influence climate at regional and local scales. The interactions between land surface and climate are thus of high relevance for understanding the coupled Social-Ecological-System (SES). In order to consider and understand the influence that land surface properties exert on regional climate, land surface characteristics need to be considered adequately in climate modeling approaches.

The aim of this Work Package is to contribute to a profound understanding of the impact of land surface and land surface changes on the exogenous controlling factor climate. In this context, the regulating ecosystem service potential of current and historic land cover as well as associated land surface characteristics on climate will be assessed and quantified. For this purpose, the historical profile of land surface properties, i.e. the current and historic spatiotemporal patterns of selected Terrestrial Essential Climate Variables (ECV’S) will be derived by remote sensing. These variables will include e.g. LAI, green vegetation cover, albedo, water surface extent and land cover.

Based on the historical profile of these variables, the impact of land cover changes on the components of the regional climate and its feedback can be analyzed using the dynamic component of the regional climate modeling system established in WP 1.1 Statistical techniques for upscaling land surface information will be developed and incorporated into the regional climate modeling system to replace the standard schemes used for the assimilation of the land surface information. The land surface information of different land use intensities in the watersheds will be incorporated into the atmospheric model. Finally, simulation in a climate mode over a recent period will be performed to study the impact of land surface changes on climate variables such as precipitation or evaporation.

Understanding this feedback system forms a basic component of all research activities in WASCAL: it enables an improved modeling of current and past climate (i.e. the historical profile of climate) and it is the only way to consider the feedback effect of land use and land cover scenarios in climate simulations. Without these analyses, the effects on adapted land use management may lead to undesirable results in the future. Finally, the modeling activities will be presented in workshops and training courses will be given to transfer the techniques developed in this WP to practice and to establish these novel techniques at the Competence Center.

Related Publications

Intercomparison of Leaf Area Index Products for a Gradient of Sub-Humid to Arid Environments in West Africa

2013 - Gessner, Ursula | Markus Niklaus, Claudia Kuenzer and Stefan Dech

Remote sensing of vegetation dynamics in West Africa

2014 - Knauer, Kim | Gessner, Ursula, Dech, Stefan, Kuenzer, Claudia

Crop−climate ensemble scenarios to improve risk assessment and resilience in the semi-arid regions of West Africa

2015 - Salack, Seyni | Benoit Sarr, Sheick K. Sangare, Mouhamed Ly, Ibrah Seidou Sanda, Harald Kunstmann

Contact

Dr. Ursula Geßner

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)
Deutsches Fernerkundungsdatenzentrum
Landoberfläche
Oberpfaffenhofen
82234 Weßling

Phone:+49 8153 28-1250
Fax:+49 8153 28-1445
Email: ursula.gessner(at)dlr.de
Internet: http://www.dlr.de/eoc

Team members

Dr. Ursula Gessner

Position:

  • Senior Researcher

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 1.3 Land Surface & Regional Climate

Dr. Dominikus Heinzeller

Position:

  • Senior Researcher

Research interests:

Numerical Modelling, Numerical Weather Prediction, Seasonal Forecasting, Scientific Computing

Programs and Research Projects:

  • Cluster 1: Climate and Weather
  • Doctoral Programme West African Climate System
  • 1.3 Land Surface & Regional Climate
  • 1.2 Seasonal Weather Forecasting
  • 1.1 Regional Climate Model System

Cornelia Klein

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 1.3 Land Surface & Regional Climate

Igor Klein

Position:

  • Junior Researcher

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 1.3 Land Surface & Regional Climate
  • 4.3 Income from Carbon Markets

Kim Knauer

Position:

  • Junior Researcher

Research interests:

Remote Sensing, Vegetation Dynamics, Phenology, Agriculture

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 1.3 Land Surface & Regional Climate
  • 3.1 Food, Feed & Fiber Production

Dr. Mouhamadou Bamba Sylla

Position:

  • Senior Researcher
  • Observation Networks Coordinator

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 1.1 Regional Climate Model System
  • 1.3 Land Surface & Regional Climate
  • Cluster 1: Climate and Weather