SIFLEX set to go ahead
Following a successful pre-campaign meeting on-site in Sondankylä, Finland, the SIFLEX (Solar Induced Fluorescence Experiment) campaign is all set to go
This pre-campaign meeting included a visit to the boreal forest site in order to become acquainted with the characteristics of the area and to select a specific plot within the forest from where the SIFLEX campaign will be carried out. A 20 metre tower is currently being erected at the selected site, which will house the observation instruments for the duration of the experiment and provide a ‘view from above’ of the boreal forest canopy.
The main goal of the SIFLEX campaign is to understand whether solar induced fluorescence measurements may someday be used to monitor and map the photochemical activity of boreal forests from space. Fluorescence is the absorption of sunlight at one wavelength and the re-emission at a different wavelength. Previous studies have shown that fluorescence is a good indicator of carbon dioxide emission and absorption rates. In order to estimate climate change effects on terrestrial ecosystems the study of boreal regions is important; firstly, because boreal forests cover large areas and as such store large quantities of carbon above and below ground and secondly, because climate modelling currently predicts substantial warming in high northern latitudes.
In order to meet the objectives of the study a vast array of measurements are planned for the campaign. These include measuring solar induced fluorescence in the forest canopy using instruments developed in-house by LURE (Laboratoire pour l’Utilisation du Rayonnement Electromagnetiqué), solar radiation measurements to determine and quantify illumination conditions, thermal measurements to measure heat loss by the pine needles and reflectance measurements to obtain a broader picture of the status of the trees. The solar radiation, reflectance and thermal measurements will be carried out by the University of Valencia (Spain) using a wide variety of instruments, two examples of which are shown here. The Finnish Meteorological Institute will be providing essential information as to the condition of the boreal trees through carbon dioxide, water vapour, air temperature and humidity measurements made from a 50 metre high micrometeorological tower.
Following the pre-campaign meeting, it is planned that the SIFLEX campaign will span over 6 weeks. During the period 22 April and 10 June 2002 up to15 people at any one time will be staying at the Sondankylä site collecting measurements. The SIFLEX campaign is coordinated by ESA and involves three other organisations: Laboratoire pour l’Utilisation du Rayonnement Electromagnetiqué (LURE) in Paris, France, The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) in Helsinki, Finland and the Department of Thermodynamics, University of Valencia, Spain. The stay of the scientists will be funded in part by the European Union LAPBIAT program.
For further information on the SIFLEX campaign please contact:
Malcolm W.J. Davidson
European Space Agency
Earth Observation Programmes/Earth Sciences Division
2200 AG The Netherlands
Phone: +31 71 5655957
For further information on the EU LABIAT program please contact:
Jyrki Manninen (Project Manager)
Sondankylä Geophysical Observatory
Fin-99600 Sondankylä Finland