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Remote Sensing of Solar Radiation Absorbed by Land Surfaces

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 July 2024 | Viewed by 2666

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Geography and Environment, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Interests: vegetation structure; BRDF; albedo; phenology dynamics and climate change; nighttime light; time series analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo France, CNRS, 42 Avenue Gaspard Coriolis, 31057 Toulouse, France
Interests: albedo; incoming solar radiation

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Guest Editor
1. Uni Systems, Via Michelangelo Buonarroti 39, 20145 Milano, Italy
2. European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Via Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, Italy
Interests: surface radiation budget; albedo; bio-geophysical ECVs
Department of Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA, USA
Interests: remote sensing; vegetation; climate; environment; spatial analysis; ecosystem ecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Earth has a complex climate system driven, to a certain extent, by the amount of solar energy absorbed by the surface. This energy absorbed by the Earth’s surface is usually calculated by combining two radiative variables:

  • 1/ Global Incoming Solar Radiation at the surface level;
  • 2/ Land Surface Albedo.

The global incoming solar radiation, composed of direct and diffuse components, essentially depends on the solar zenith angle, cloud coverage, aerosol load, gas absorption, and land surface albedo over bright surfaces. Land surface albedo has a complex dependency on the surface's properties (e.g., vegetation phenology, soil moisture, and land types).

Solar radiation absorbed by land surfaces is of vital importance for life on Earth, energy balance, and water and carbon cycles (photosynthesis and photochemical reactions). Solar radiation drives meteorological and climatic conditions. It is also the most abundant renewable energy resource. Regular and timely monitoring of surface albedo from local to global scales is vital for determining the radiation exchanges in the continuum of soil–vegetation–atmosphere in the context of a changing climate. Recent studies also show that land cover management has direct impacts on the combination of these two variables, which could play a role in the mitigation of climate change.

With this Special Issue, we will compile state-of-the-art research that addresses the complementary efforts of remote sensing and the modeling of 1/ incoming solar radiation and 2/ land surface albedo.

This Special Issue aims to publish recent developments in obtaining and validating these two variables. Review contributions are welcome, as well as papers showing applications for weather prediction, the energy sector, climate analysis, and the mitigation of the climate. Short communications giving constructive criticisms or discussing/amending previous studies are also welcome.

Dr. Zhuosen Wang
Dr. Dominique Carrer
Dr. Christian Lanconelli
Dr. Angela Erb
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • land surface albedo
  • incoming solar radiation
  • aerosols, clouds, BRDF
  • photovoltaic
  • radiative forcing
  • validation
  • climate change/mitigation
  • earth radiation budget
  • applications of radiation products

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 9422 KiB  
Article
Impact of Wildfires on Land Surface Cold Season Climate in the Northern High-Latitudes: A Study on Changes in Vegetation, Snow Dynamics, Albedo, and Radiative Forcing
by Melissa Linares and Wenge Ni-Meister
Remote Sens. 2024, 16(8), 1461; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs16081461 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 591
Abstract
Anthropogenic climate change is increasing the occurrence of wildfires, especially in northern high latitudes, leading to a shift in land surface climate. This study aims to determine the predominant climatic effects of fires in boreal forests to assess their impact on vegetation composition, [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic climate change is increasing the occurrence of wildfires, especially in northern high latitudes, leading to a shift in land surface climate. This study aims to determine the predominant climatic effects of fires in boreal forests to assess their impact on vegetation composition, surface albedo, and snow dynamics. The influence of fire-induced changes on Earth’s radiative forcing is investigated, while considering variations in burn severity and postfire vegetation structure. Six burn sites are explored in central Alaska’s boreal region, alongside six control sites, by utilizing Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-derived albedo, Leaf Area Index (LAI), snowmelt timing data, AmeriFlux radiation, National Land Cover Database (NLCD) land cover, and Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) data. Key findings reveal significant postfire shifts in land cover at each site, mainly from high- to low-stature vegetation. A continuous increase in postfire surface albedo and negative surface shortwave forcing was noted even after 12 years postfire, particularly during the spring and at high-severity burn areas. Results indicate that the cooling effect from increased albedo during the snow season may surpass the warming effects of earlier snowmelt. The overall climate impact of fires depends on burn severity and vegetation composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Solar Radiation Absorbed by Land Surfaces)
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16 pages, 1449 KiB  
Article
About the Assessment of Cover Crop Albedo Potential Cooling Effect: Risk of the Darkening Feedback Loop Effects
by Gaétan Pique, Dominique Carrer, Emanuele Lugato, Rémy Fieuzal, Raphaël Garisoain and Eric Ceschia
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(13), 3231; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15133231 - 22 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1557
Abstract
Today societies face an unprecedented challenge to limit global warming and restore agricultural soils. Recent studies show that the introduction of cover crops over Europe could result in a cooling impact due to an increase in soil organic carbon stocks, a decrease in [...] Read more.
Today societies face an unprecedented challenge to limit global warming and restore agricultural soils. Recent studies show that the introduction of cover crops over Europe could result in a cooling impact due to an increase in soil organic carbon stocks, a decrease in the use of fertilizers, and an increase in surface albedo of the croplands. Based on the use of remote sensing data, land cover database, meteorological data, national agricultural statistics, and ground measurements, a generic model was developed to simulate the radiative forcing following the change in surface albedo. This article analyzes the impact of the introduction of cover crops in Europe during the fallow periods. Compared to previous studies, this work discusses: (i) The maximum greening potential in Europe and the associated indirect surface properties changes (ii) for snowfall episodes, and (iii) due to an increase in organic matter. This study shows that the mitigation potential of cover crops through albedo effects could reach 6.74 MtCO2-eq.yr−1 by extending the periods of the introduction of the cover crops to all possible fallow periods. This mitigation could be limited to 5.68 MtCO2-eq.yr−1 if the impact of snowfalls is considered. This would be equivalent to 9.12 gCO2.m−2.yr−1. Finally, this study investigates the feedback loop due to soil darkening with soil organic carbon content increase when cover crops are introduced, considering two scenarios. The first considers the soil organic carbon content increase following repeated incorporation of cover crop biomass into the soil, simulated with the DayCent model. The second, more conceptual and extreme scenario aims at alerting on the possible impact of a combination of carbon farming practices, such as biochar or organic amendments. Our results show that this effect could lead to a loss of 20% of the climate benefit (i.e., 5.39 MtCO2-eq.yr−1). In conclusion, this study shows that cover crops have a strong potential for climate mitigation through direct albedo effects (soil coverage). However, once introduced, cropland should be permanently covered by vegetation or straws in order to avoid this darkening feedback loop effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Solar Radiation Absorbed by Land Surfaces)
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