The Arctic Boreal and Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) covers 2.5 million square miles of tundra, forests, permafrost and lakes in Alaska and Northwestern Canada. ABoVE scientists are using satellites and aircraft to study this formidable terrain as it changes in a warming climate. Remote sensing by itself is not enough to understand the whole picture, so teams of researchers will go out into the field to gather data. With support from NASA’s Terrestrial Ecology Program, ABoVE researchers investigate questions about the role of climate in wildfires, thawing permafrost, wildlife migration habits, insect outbreaks and more.
Bubbles, bubbles, and more bubbles, in a steady stream. Many lakes in the boreal regions of Alaska are emitting methane, the product of decomposing organic matter left over from the Ice Age. Thawing permafrost has caused areas of land to slump and fill up with water, creating these bodies of water called thermokarst lakes. The water then exacerbates the thawing, expanding the size of the lake and producing even more methane. In the early cold season, ice covers the lakes and traps methane in large pockets just beneath the surface. University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists working as part of NASA’s Arctic boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) find and measure the methane gas in these pockets seep-by-seep and lake-by-lake. ABoVE combines precise methane measurements from individual lakes with satellite data that can monitor lakes like these across the Arctic, to accurately model how much methane sub-lake seeps are adding to the atmosphere. For more on the bubbling lakes: https://blogs.nasa.gov/earthexpeditions/2016/08/23/mapping-methane-in-a-bubbling-arctic-lake/
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 22.214.171.124.0