A paper titled “Increased dry-season length over southern Amazonia in recent decades and its implication for future climate projection” by Fu et al. appeared in an early edition of the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America” (PNAS) on Tuesday October 21st, 2013. This paper addresses the question of whether the dry-season length will increase as that will determines the fate of the rainforests over Amazonia and future global atmospheric CO2 concentration. The authors show observationally that the dry-season length over southern Amazonia has increased significantly since 1979. Although the causes for this change are unknown, it resembles the effects of anthropogenic climate change. The global climate models that were presented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth assessment report seem to substantially underestimate the variability of the dry-season length. Such a bias implies that the future change of the dry-season length, and hence the risk of rainforest die-back, may be underestimated by the projections of these models. The paper can be downloaded from http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/10/15/1302584110
A press release accompanying the publication can be found at http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/news/2013/10/risk-of-amazon-rainforest-dieback-is-higher-than-ipcc-projects/
Alan Strahler joined colleagues from UMass Boston, UMass Lowell, and Rochester Institute of Technology in a field terrestrial lidar deployment of the Dual Wavelength Echidna Lidar (DWEL), Canopy Biomass Lidar (CBL), and RIT Terrestrial Lidar (RITTL) to Fresno, California, from June 9-17. where they scanned vegetated sites and made additional vegetation measurements in support of a NEON aircraft campaign. Data were acquired from high- and mid-elevation stands in the Sequoia National Forest as well as shrublands in the foothills near Fresno.
Alan Strahler and graduate student Zhan Li attended the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, July 21-26, and presented oral papers entitled, “Studying Canopy Structure Through 3-D Reconstruction of Point Clouds from Full-Waveform Terrestrial Lidar,” and “Separating Leaves from Trunks and Branches With Dual-Wavelength Terrestrial Lidar Scanning,” respectively. Over 1300 scientists from 66 countries attended the event, sponsored by the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society.
Dr. Eric Kelly of Boston College will be giving a lecture titled “Disequilibrium during regional metamorphism: challenges to interpretations of metamorphism.” The lecture will be held Friday Oct 18th, 2013 from 11 am to 12 pm in CAS 141C as part of our on going Solid Earth Seminar. Please join us!
Research Assistant Professor Pontus Olofsson has been invited by CONAFOR (Comisión Nacional Forestal — National Forestry Commission of Mexico) to give a talk on good practices for assessing accuracy and estimating area of land cover change. Professor Olofsson’s talk will be held in Mexico on December 5th.
Alan Strahler led group of students and scientists from BU, University of Massachusetts Boston, and University of Massachusetts Lowell, to Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, for a week of terrestrial lidar scanning with the Dual Wavelength Echidna Lidar (DWEL) instrument and UMass Boston’s Canopy Biomass Lidar (CBL) instrument. The event, held from July 28 to August 3, was arranged through a collaboration with the Terrestrial Laser Scanning International Interest Group and co-hosted by the Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation, and the Arts and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. In addition to the DWEL and CBL, three other instruments scanned the same sites, as part of a plan to intercompare both research and commercial terrestrial laser scanners for a variety of applications in ecology and forestry.
Alan Strahler gave a keynote address in the opening session of SilivLaser 2013 entitled “Terrestrial Laser Scanning in Forestry and Ecology: Present Status and Future Directions.” The meeting brings together scientists and researchers using lidar scanning and imaging for forest research and management applications. Alternating between North American and international locations, the meeting was held this year in Beijing, China, October 9-11.
Professor Nathan Phillips will be taking a leave of absence in Spring and Summer 2014 to serve as a fellow on the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST).
Lucy Hutyra is heading to Boulder this week as an invited participant in a workshop on Human-Carbon Interactions in Urban Systems, sponsored by the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program/Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group.
Please join us on TUESDAY, October 15th (Monday is a holiday) at 12pm in LSE B01 for the Biology Department’s Weekly Seminar. Dr. Eric Davidson, from Woods Hole Research Center, will be giving a talk titled “Biotic Feedbacks to Climate Change and Land Use Change: From Global Budgets to Soil Enzymes.” Refreshments will be served at 11:45am. Hope you can attend!