ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0032.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: random forest; regression tree; carbon fertilization; land cover change; climate change
Online: 10 September 2017 (07:26:30 CEST)
Global change is affecting vegetation cover and processes through multiple pathways. Long time series of surface land surface properties derived from satellite remote sensing offer a unique abilities to observe these changes, particularly in areas with complex topography and limited research infrastructure. Here, we focus on Nepal, a biodiversity hotspot where vegetation productivity is limited by moisture availability (dominated by a summer monsoon) at lower elevations and by temperature at high elevations. We analyze normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from 1981 to 2015 semimonthly, at 8 km spatial resolution. We use a random forest (RF) of regression trees to generate a statistical model of NDVI as a function of elevation, land use, CO2 level, temperature, and precipitation. We find that NDVI has increased over the studied period, particularly at low and middle elevations and during fall (post-monsoon). We infer from the fitted RF model that the NDVI linear trend is primarily due to CO2 level (or another environmental parameter that is changing quasi-linearly), and not primarily to temperature or precipitation trends. On the other hand, interannual fluctuation in NDVI is more correlated with temperature and precipitation. RF accurately fits the available data and shows promise for estimating trends and testing hypotheses about their causes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0142.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: soil moisture; AMSR2; remote sensing; downscale; SCAN-NRCS; passive microwave
Online: 28 September 2017 (03:37:51 CEST)
A continuous spatio-temporal database of accurate soil moisture (SM) measurements is an important asset for agricultural activities, hydrologic studies, and environmental monitoring. The Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2), launched in May 2012, has been providing SM data globally with a revisit period of two days. It is imperative to assess the quality of this data before performing any application. Since resources of accurate SM measurements are very limited in Puerto Rico, this research will assess the quality of the AMSR2 data by comparing with ground-based measurements and perform a downscaling technique to provide a better description of how the sensor perceives the surface soil moisture as it passes over the island. The comparison consisted of the evaluation of the mean error, root mean squared error, and the correlation coefficient. Two downscaling techniques were used and their performances were studied. The results revealed that AMSR2 products tend to underestimate. This is due to the extreme heterogeneous distributions of elevations, vegetation densities, soil types, and weather events on the island. This research provides a comprehensive study on the accuracy and potential of the AMSR2 products over Puerto Rico. Further studies are recommended to improve the AMSR2 products.