New study methods are being created by researchers combating the most noticeable effect of climate change, the so-called ‘greening’ of the zones in the Arctic.
The most recent drone and satellite developments are helping an international group of scientists to comprehend in a better way the reason behind the massive parts of land known as tundra becoming greener. As Arctic summer temperatures grow warmer, plants are reacting, with tundra vegetation expanding into new regions.
Understanding the way data gathered from the air match with analyses made on the ground will help researchers put together a clearer picture of how the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and North America are altered by the increase in temperatures.
Now, a team of scientists from 36 institutions all over the world has announced that the causes behind this greening process are more intricate, as well as inconsistent than it was earlier believed.
Scientists from Europe and North America are discovering that the Arctic greening noticed from space is triggered by more than just the reactions of tundra plants to temperatures. Satellites are also spotting other changes such as differences in the timing of snowmelt and the humidity of the environment.
Reasons Behind Tundra Plants’ Response
Lead author Dr. Isla Myers-Smith, from the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, said: “New technologies including sensors on drones, planes, and satellites, are enabling scientists to track emerging patterns of greening found within satellite pixels that cover the size of football fields.”
Professor Scott Goetz from the School of Informatics, Computing and Cyber Systems at Northern Arizona University, said that this study is crucial for researchers’ understanding of global climate change. Tundra plants pose as an obstacle between the warming atmosphere and massive amounts of carbon kept in frozen ground.
The research will help experts comprehend which causes will accelerate or impede warming.
Co-lead author Dr. Jeffrey Kerby, who was a Neukom Fellow at Dartmouth College while involved in the the study, said: “Besides collecting new imagery, advances in how we process and analyze these data – even imagery that is decades old – are revolutionizing how we understand the past, present, and future of the Arctic.”
Alex Moen, Vice President of Explorer Programs at the National Geographic Society, said: “We look forward to the impact that this work will have on our collective understanding of the Arctic for generations to come.”