Skip to the content | Change text size

Council, 1999 THE SCIENCE

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Artic Transitions in the Land Atmosphere System (ATLAS)


Science photos 1999

Vegetation work led by Catharine Copass looked at the types and biomass of different functional groups. Structural measurements were also taken. Cath will be developing a dynamic vegetation model.


Chamber based measurements were used to examine the contribution of each functional type to the overall grid scale H2O and CO2 fluxes. Comparisons of fluxes from moss and lichen were undertaken. A functional investigation of fluxes from mosses was also undertaken


Tower based measurements of the five transition vegetation types were undertaken to quantify the surface energy exchanges and to examine the mechanisms controlling these fluxes. Carbon fluxes are also an important component of the studies and were performed at each site. These measurements will be used in conjunction with the regional climate model (ArcSYSM) to develop reasonable scenarios for future climate change in the arctic.
In addition direct comparisons between tundra and spruce were made to investigate the possible control of large scale synoptic features by vegetation contrasts.


Profile measurements of moisture, temperature and wind speed were made simultaneously over both spruce and tundra to examine differences in atmospheric heat and moisture inputs. Measurements were made using a tethered balloon system.


Upper air measurements were conducted in conjunction with NCAR using an Integrated Sounding System (ISS). A radio acoustic sounding system was used to obtain high resolution temperature and wind speed profiles.
Measurements of water vapour through the atmosphere will be used to develop enhanced parameterizations for the regional climate model (ArcSYM).