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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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OPPORTUNITIES TO USE
REMOTE SENSING
IN UNDERSTANDING
Permafrost AND
RELATED ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Report of a Workshop

Committee on Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Ecosystems:
A Workshop

Polar Research Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies





NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                           OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES







THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under contract number NNX13AD79G. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring agencies or any of their subagencies.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-30121-3
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-30121-1

Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu/.

Copyright 2014 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
×

COMMITTEE ON OPPORTUNITIES TO USE REMOTE SENSING IN
UNDERSTANDING PERMAFROST AND ECOSYSTEMS: A WORKSHOP

PRASAD GOGINENI (Co-Chair), University of Kansas, Lawrence

VLADIMIR E. ROMANOVSKY (Co-Chair), University of Alaska, Fairbanks

JESSICA CHERRY, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

CLAUDE DUGUAY, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

SCOTT GOETZ, Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA

M. TORRE JORGENSON, Alaska Ecoscience, Fairbanks

MAHTA MOGHADDAM, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

NRC Staff

KATIE THOMAS, Program Officer

LAUREN BROWN, Associate Program Officer

SHELLY FREELAND, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
×

POLAR RESEARCH BOARD

JAMES W. C. WHITE (Chair), University of Colorado, Boulder

WALEED ABDALATI, University of Colorado, Boulder

SRIDHAR ANANDAKRISHNAN, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

KATEY WALTER ANTHONY, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

JULIE BRIGHAM-GRETTE, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

JOHN CASSANO, University of Colorado, Boulder

JENNIFER A. FRANCIS, Rutgers University, Marion, MA

EILEEN E. HOFMANN, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

BERNICE M. JOSEPH, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

ELLEN S. MOSLEY-THOMPSON, Ohio State University, Columbus

GEORGE B. NEWTON, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, Marstons Mills, MA

RAFE POMERANCE, Independent Consultant, Washington, DC

CARYN REA, ConocoPhillips, Anchorage, AK

GAIUS R. SHAVER, The Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, MA

ALLAN T. WEATHERWAX, Siena College, Loudonville, NY

Ex-Officio

JACQUELINE M. GREBMEIER (U.S. Delegate to IASC), University of Maryland, Solomons

TERRY WILSON (U.S. Delegate to SCAR), Ohio State University, Columbus

DENEB KARENTZ (Alternate U.S. Delegate to SCAR), University of San Francisco, CA

NRC Staff

AMANDA STAUDT, Director

LAURIE GELLER, Program Director

LAUREN BROWN, Associate Program Officer

RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
×

Acknowledgments

This workshop summary has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purposes of this review are to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published summary as sound as possible and to ensure that the summary meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following for their participation in the review of this summary:

GUIDO GROSSE, Alfred Wegener Institute, Potsdam, Germany

LARRY D. HINZMAN, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

ANNE W. NOLIN, Oregon State University, Corvallis

EDWARD SCHUUR, University of Florida, Gainesville

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse, nor did they see the final draft of the workshop summary before its release. The review of this summary was overseen by Jeff Dozier, University of California, Santa Barbara. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this summary was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this summary rests entirely with the author and the National Research Council.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18711.
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Permafrost is a thermal condition -- its formation, persistence and disappearance are highly dependent on climate. General circulation models predict that, for a doubling of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, mean annual air temperatures may rise up to several degrees over much of the Arctic. In the discontinuous permafrost region, where ground temperatures are within 1-2 degrees of thawing, permafrost will likely ultimately disappear as a result of ground thermal changes associated with global climate warming. Where ground ice contents are high, permafrost degradation will have associated physical impacts. 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.

Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics is the summary of a workshop convened by the National Research Council 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. The workshop brought together experts from the remote sensing community with permafrost and ecosystem scientists. The workshop discussions articulated gaps in current understanding and potential opportunities to harness remote sensing techniques to better understand permafrost, permafrost change, and implications for ecosystems in permafrost areas. This report addresses questions such as how remote sensing might be used in innovative ways, how it might enhance our ability to document long-term trends, and whether it is possible to integrate remote sensing products with the ground-based observations and assimilate them into advanced Arctic system models. Additionally, the report considers the expectations of the quality and spatial and temporal resolution possible through such approaches, and the prototype sensors that are available that could be used for detailed ground calibration of permafrost/high latitude carbon cycle studies.

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