Special Meteorology Seminar: Dr. Dara Entekhabi
Coupling of the water, energy and carbon cycles over land:
Results from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observations
Dr. Dara Entekhabi
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Civil & Environmental Engineering/ Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences
Abstract: Three main cycles of the Earth and climate system - the water, carbon and energy cycles - are linked together over land through the water cycle evaporation flux (equivalent to latent heat exchange in the energy cycle and photosynthetic exchange in the carbon cycle). Where the cycles are linked, variations in one has consequences for the others. A determinate factor of evaporation over land is soil moisture. How (at what rate? With what thresholds?) soil moisture affects evaporation has consequences for how strongly the cycles are coupled and hence co-vary. Earth system models include a wide variety of assumed soil moisture control over evaporation in their parameterizations which contributes to the uncertainty of projected response to perturbations. In this presentation the first two years of measurements by the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission are used to address this issue. The presentation also includes an overview of the SMAP mission concept and data-use in Earth system science and data-use in Earth system science and applied sciences.