Upscaling hotspots – Understanding the variability of critical land-atmosphere fluxes to strengthen climate models (Spot-On)
Flux processes between the land surface and the air plays an important role for weather and climate. In the 'Spot-On'-project we aim to develop methods to better account for the land surface flux heterogeneity in validations of climate models.
Large eddy simulation of particle dispersion from a hypothetical point source at Finse, Hardangervidda Mountain Plateau/Norway. Figure: Project-team
About the project
Many important processes take place right where the land and the air above touch each other. To understand such processes has become a scientific imperative as human activities threaten to change our weather and climate systems. We therefore need better predictions for the exchange of greenhouse gases like methane, CO2, and water vapor. A critical limitation to our understanding has long been that the greenhouse gas exchange varies considerably in the landscape.
In this project we aim to develop and apply novel tools to map this variability and compare these observations to climate models, in order to reduce the uncertainties of the predictions given in the models.
This project will use recent developments in sensor technology, statistical methods, high performance computing capabilities to deliver high-resolution maps of greenhouse gas fluxes in the landscape. To this end, we will configure a drone swarm with gas analysers that feeds its measurements to a data assimilation algorithm using fluid mechanics to calculate the surface gas exchange. Based on real-time output while the drones are flying, the system can subsequently repositions individual drones to minimise the uncertainty of the surface map.
The ambition is to map large areas comparable to points in global climate models, to be able to compare the greenhouse gas exchange directly. Targeted case studies in the project will give new insights into critical biogeochemical processes of northern ecosystems, which will fundamentally reduce uncertainties and potential errors in climate projections
Upscaling hotspots – understanding the variability of critical land-atmosphere fluxes to strengthen climate models.
Source of financing: NFR, FRIPRO – Young Research Talents
Duration of the project: 2020-2024 | Project number: 301552