Advanced remote sensing of drought impacts in California ecosystems
Professor Dar Roberts
Peel Lecture Theatre, School of Geographical Sciences
Professor Dar Roberts from the Department of Geography, University of California Santa Barbara will give a talk entitled 'Advanced remote sensing of drought impacts in California ecosystems'
California, with a primarily Mediterranean climate, is routinely subjected to short term (seasonal) and longer term droughts. Droughts adversely impact the state, causing significant changes in water available for industry, agriculture and home use, and negatively impacting native vegetation byincreasing moisture stress, resulting in reduced plant production, mortality and enhanced fire danger. The severity of drought is expected to increasedue to climate change. For example, the 2012-2016 drought was the most severe in recorded history for the state, further exacerbated by increasedevaporative demand due to record high air temperatures. In this talk, I discuss recent research using remote sensing to quantify drought impacts in natural vegetation. I provide examples using high temporal frequency MODIS data, to quantify seasonal changes in live fuel moisture related to drought, AVIRIS time series to quantify species specific changes in drought response between 2011 and 2014 and combined NEON hyperspectral and multi-return Lidar data, to quantify drought-induced beetle mortality in the Sierra Nevada as it varies by tree species, canopy height and canopy leaf area. I conclude with some preliminary research quantifying drought impacts in riparian areas using AVIRIS and Landsat sensors.