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Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems, Climate Variability & Change

I propose a 3-year study using MODIS observations and available fire history data to examine the temporal evolution of post-fire albedo and to derive the associated radiative forcing. An integrated assessment of the overall radiative forcing caused by fire is critical for fire and carbon management as well as for prediction of future climate. The forcing due to greenhouse gas is well known, but there is a major gap in estimates of forcing due to fire-induced albedo change. This study will focus on two fire-prone regions with very different fire regime and vegetation succession patterns: boreal Canada and northern Australia. I will investigate the patterns of post-fire albedo evolution and explain their changes by analysis of vegetation spectral index and structural index derived from MODIS observations. An algorithm will be developed to construct fire chronosequence using fire history data and thus to provide a clearer understanding of albedo evolution through the majority length of vegetation succession stages after fire disturbances. I will calculate the seasonal and annual mean of the top-of-atmosphere forcing by fire-induced albedo changes using a radiative transfer model, and analyze the temporal evolution of this forcing. I will also investigate the differences among various ecosystems and the impact of the season of burning on vegetation structure and albedo as well as the associated radiative forcing. Main deliverables of this study will include maps of albedo evolution patterns and of spatially explicit forcing caused by fire-induced albedo change. Summary statistics of albedo changes and regional forcings will also be reported. Through a combined use of fire history data and satellite products, the proposed study will contribute toward a complete and integrated accounting of radiative forcing by albedo change, carbon and aerosol emitted from fire, and thus provide sound scientific knowledge for decisions on carbon/fire management and climate-change policy. This proposal also contains an education component built on and integrated into the existing interdisciplinary and sustainable education program in the Department of Earth System Science at UCI. I will actively incorporate my research experience and expertise in the new remote sensing course recently developed at the department, supervise undergraduate students from underrepresented minority groups, and develop a short summer training course for students at the beginning of their careers in remote sensing. It will inspire them to use NASA satellite data in their global change study and to pursue careers in Earth science. NOTE: This proposal is an updated version based of the PI’s NASA New Investigator Program proposal that was selected for award in 2006 (the PI couldn’t take the grant up due to a delayed immigration process, that is now resolved).

Project PI: Yufang Jin/University of California, Irvine

3206 Croul Hall Department of Earth System Science University of California Irvine, CA 92697-3100

Phone: 949.824.6174

Email: yufang@uci.edu

http://www.ess.uci.edu/~yufang/vitae.html

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Started: Aug 09, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 09, 2010

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