Study in Progress
Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Ecosystems: A WorkshopPolar Research Board
Statement of Task
Permafrost thaw stands to have wide-ranging impacts, such as the draining and drying of the tundra, erosion of riverbanks and coastline, and destabilization of infrastructure (roads, airports, buildings, etc.), and including potential implications for ecosystems and the carbon cycle in the high latitudes. Under the auspices of the National Research Council, a committee of experts will plan a workshop to explore opportunities for using remote sensing to advance our understanding of permafrost status and trends and the impacts of permafrost change, especially on ecosystems and the carbon cycle in the high latitudes. Participants at the workshop would address questions such as how remote sensing might be used in innovative ways, how it might enhance our ability to document long-term trends, whether it is possible to integrate remote sensing products with the ground-based observations and assimilate them into advanced Arctic system models, what are the expectations of the quality and spatial and temporal resolution possible through such approaches, and what prototype sensors (e.g., the airborne UAVSAR, AIRSWOT (InSAR) and MABEL (Lidar), IceBridge) are available and might be used for detailed ground calibration of permafrost/high latitude carbon cycle studies? The workshop will bring together experts from the remote sensing community with permafrost and ecosystem scientists. The workshop discussions will be designed to encourage participants to articulate gaps in current understanding and identify potential opportunities to harness remote sensing techniques to better understand permafrost, permafrost change, and implications for ecosystems in permafrost areas.