Specific scientific questions to be addressed include:
- What is the nature of the diurnal and seasonal variations in
sensible and latent heat fluxes, soil moisture and atmospheric
thermodynamic profiles on the two sides of the bunny fence?
the variations in surface energetics and boundary layer thermodynamics
responsible for the differences in cloud formation on the two
sides of the bunny fence?
the sharp boundary in land use along the bunny fence induce
- What is the nature of the landscape heterogeneity induced mesoscale
circulations, their structure, seasonal and diurnal variations
and frequency of occurrence?
- Is the cloud formation in this region impacted by the landscape
heterogeneity generated mesoscale circulations?
propose to use a unique combination of satellite, in situ observations
and mesoscale numerical modeling experiments to answer a series
of research questions related to modification of regional climate
in Southwestern Australia by changes in land use. Specifically,
we will focus on identifying mechanistic interaction processes
between land use and climate and evaluating the impact of land
use on local hydrology and associated consequences to agricultural
productivity and ecosystem stability.
We plan to use satellite and in situ measurements for two purposes. One
is to characterize the differences in surface energy and moisture
fluxes, atmospheric thermodynamic profiles, cloud formation, cloud
microphysics and soil moisture as a function of land use. The
other is to specify realistic land surface characteristics that
are crucial inputs for the mesoscale model and for validating model
simulations. The Colorado State University Regional Atmospheric
Modeling System (CSU RAMS) will be used to understand the mechanistic
interactions between land use and regional climate. The RAMS
will also be used to study the impact of land use on the regional
Specific objectives of this study include: a) Use CERES data to
examine differences in top-of-the-atmosphere and surface radiative
fluxes over agriculture and native vegetation areas; b) Characterize
differences in cloud formation, cloud characteristics and precipitation
as a function of land use using MODIS, TRMM and GMS5 satellite
data; c) Examine surface energy and moisture fluxes, soil moisture
availability over agricultural and native vegetation areas using
MODIS and ASTER data; d) Validate satellite retrieval of moisture
and energy fluxes, soil moisture using ground based measurements;
e) Explore the impact of land use on atmospheric thermodynamic
structure using AIRS/AMSU/HSB data; f) Generate land surface characteristics
for current and pristine land use scenarios from MODIS data and
use RAMS to simulate regional climate and cloud formation in Southwest
Australia for these scenarios.