New technology to monitor climate change

Extreme weather events have become more frequent and intense since the 1950s, and international hydrology experts are using new technology to map land areas subject to hotter and drier conditions due to climate change.

Experts from Flinders University have worked with Chinese and Australian researchers on three studies to assess the effects of droughts on heat waves, vegetation health and soil salinity.

The first study, led by former Ph.D. from Flinders University. Dr. Ajaio Chen and published in the hydrology journalused advanced computer modeling to divide a world map into red and blue regions to reflect the areas most affected by global warming compared to the local drought-induced soil moisture deficit.

Two other studies, led by scientists from China Agricultural University, worked to improve the use of hyperspectral remote sensing technology to monitor the salinity of irrigated agricultural soils and the impacts of drought on vegetation health at large. scale.

“These two studies provide methods to assess the large-scale effects of global warming and increased rainfall variability in hot extremes, aridification, soil degradation, and food security in order to plan for the future resilience of our environment and farming systems,” says the associate from Flinders University. Professor Huade Guan, Principal Investigator at Australia’s National Groundwater Research and Training Centre.

The first of these studies, published in Total Environmental Scienceshows that while some regions are more frequently affected by extreme heat events due to global warming, others are more affected by strong interannual variability of soil moisture in the root zone.

The areas most prone to global warming-induced heat extremes are in dry regions (such as the Sahara), mountain ranges (eg, the Andes in South America, the Rocky Mountains in North America), and plateaus (eg, the Brazilian plateau). and the Mongolian Plateau), where interannual variability of root zone moisture is generally lower due to water deficiency, steep topography, and/or low temperature.

Vegetation clearance and ocean-atmosphere phenomena also influenced the number of hot days.

In the meantime, targeted use of large-scale soil salinity monitoring could be used to mitigate the worsening effects of hotter and drier conditions, says co-author Associate Professor Guan.

The second study, published in Remote sensingdeveloped a new “exponential model of soil spectral reflectance” to improve the use of soil spectrometry for rapid assessment of large-scale soil salinity.

“It can be useful for monitoring soil salinity in floodplains and in irrigated crop fields,” says Guan.

“Soil salinity affects about 23% of cultivated land, especially in arid and semi-arid irrigated agricultural areas, and is one of the main factors restricting the sustainable development of agriculture.”

More information:
Ajiao Chen et al, Spatially differentiated effects of local moisture deficit and global temperature rise in extreme heat events, hydrology magazine (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2022.128720

Zhen Weng et al, Three-Dimensional Link Between Meteorological Drought and Vegetation Drought in China, Total Environmental Science (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.160300

Xi Huang et al, An improved exponential model considering a spectrally effective moisture threshold for proximal hyperspectral reflectance simulation and soil salinity estimation, Remote sensing (2022). DOI: 10.3390/rs14246396

Provided by Flinders University

Citation: New technology to monitor climate change (2023, January 10) Retrieved January 10, 2023 from

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