consistent climate data records of soil moisture and vegetation though data assimilation (CONSOLIDATION)

  2020-07-01 - 2024-06-30

Forestry, agriculture, and climate research need high quality information on the water that is stored in soils and plants to estimate accurately impacts of droughts on plant production and harvest yields. Observations from microwave satellites allow estimating the moisture content in soil and vegetation for the last 40 years. However, this information is not daily available and has a poor quality to draw clear conclusions about the short- to long-term changes in the storage and flows of water over land. In CONSOLIDATION, we will for the first time combine multiple satellite observations of soil and vegetation moisture with a new-generation model that simulates changes in water and vegetation over land. In this way, we will obtain worldwide estimates on soil and vegetation moisture and biomass since 1980 with high spatial (~10 km) and temporal (every 3 hours) detail. The resulting datasets will be of better quality than the current datasets that come either only from satellite observations or only from models, because we will combine the best information from both approaches. In addition, hourly to daily changes will be included and physical links between soil moisture and vegetation and all other land surface variables will be ensured. We will then use these datasets to forecasts crop yields. Furthermore, we will investigate how soil moisture and droughts affected plant biomass over large regions. The project will join the knowledge of two partners on combining observations with models (KU Leuven) and on estimating soil and vegetation moisture from microwave satellite observations (TU Wien).

Project manager Project members Financiers
  •   Fonds zur F√∂rderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF)
  •   KU Leuven