02 Mar 2023
 | 02 Mar 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Reviews and syntheses: Recent advances in microwave remote sensing in support of arctic-boreal carbon cycle science

Alex Mavrovic, Oliver Sonnentag, Juha Lemmetyinen, Jennifer Baltzer, Christophe Kinnard, and Alexandre Roy

Abstract. Spaceborne microwave remote sensing (300 MHz–100 GHz) provides a valuable method for characterizing environmental changes, especially in arctic-boreal regions (ABR) where ground observations are generally spatially and temporally scarce. Although direct measurements of carbon fluxes are not feasible, spaceborne microwave radiometers and radar can monitor various important surface and near-surface variables that affect carbon cycle processes such as respiratory carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes, photosynthetic CO2 uptake, and processes related to net methane (CH4) exchange including CH4 production, transport, and consumption. Examples of such controls include soil moisture and temperature, surface freeze/thaw cycles, vegetation water storage, snowpack properties and land cover. Microwave remote sensing also provides a means for independent aboveground biomass estimates that can be used to estimate aboveground carbon stocks. The microwave data record spans multiple decades going back to the 1970s with frequent (daily to weekly) global coverage independent of atmospheric conditions and solar illumination. Collectively, these advantages hold substantial untapped potential to monitor and better understand carbon cycle processes across the ABR. Given rapid climate warming across the ABR and the associated carbon cycle feedbacks to the global climate system, this review argues for the importance of rapid integration of microwave information into ABR carbon cycle science.

Alex Mavrovic et al.

Status: open (until 16 Apr 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-137', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Mar 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-137', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Mar 2023 reply

Alex Mavrovic et al.

Alex Mavrovic et al.


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Short summary
This review argues towards the integration of microwave spaceborne information in carbon cycle science for Arctic-boreal regions. The microwave data record spans multiple decades with frequent global observations of soil moisture and temperature, surface freeze/thaw cycles, vegetation water storage, snowpack properties and land cover. This record holds substantial unexploited potential to better understand carbon cycle processes.