Including the Impacts of Forest Disturbances in Western North America in Climate Models
The proposed work evaluates the climate impacts of forest disturbances in the western U.S, in particular the effects of forest fires and bark-beetle infestations. The work combines observations from field sites and remote sensing data analysis with numerical modeling using the Noah LSM and WRF RCM. The scientific questions pursued include: (1) to what degree do forest disturbances affect physical properties, (2) how can these disturbances be represented in an LSM, (3) what are the implications of the disturbances on the surface water and energy balance and (4) what are the implications of the disturbances on atmospheric processes from intraseaonal to interannual scales.
Overall, an excellent proposal from a strong research team. Interesting development of remote sensing techniques. Well-conceived numerical experiment plan with the Noah and WRF models. The proposed work will could have an impact on hydrologic and atmospheric predictions in the western US, enhance modeling tools and techniques in land-atmosphere studies, and link with ecological issues faced in the region.