In ARM's Carbon Project, we aim to improve our ability to predict exchanges of carbon, water, and energy at the landscape scale. As we develop these models, we can better understand how the fluxes of carbon, water and energy link to land use and climate. The mixture of land uses and simple topography in the Southern Great Plains make this an ideal region to test methods of scaling flux predictions from plot to regional scales. There, we are measuring stocks and fluxes of carbon, water, and energy at various spatial and temporal scales.
This project advances understanding and prediction of land-atmosphere interactions and greenhouse gas radiative forcing at Earth’s surface. We use observations to model the processes linking Earth's carbon, water, and energy cycles—from soil moisture and vegetation to clouds, radiation, and precipitation. We also observe the direct radiative effects of CO2 and CH4 on climate, using ARM spectroscopic measurements. Our research is yielding new insights into processes governing the water cycle over land, and is enabling rigorous testing of radiative transfer in climate models.
This project characterizes the life-cycle dynamics of moist convection using stereo photogrammetry in combination with other instruments at Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) sites, and using large-eddy simulations to help interpret those observations. Stereo cameras are used to characterize the sizes, speeds, circulations, and ascent distances of individual convective bubbles through their life cycle. These data on cloud life cycles are difficult, if not impossible, to obtain with other ARM instruments.