Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




EARTH OBSERVATION
Studying crops, from outer space
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 27, 2014


This is an illustration of the process of measuring photosynthesis from space, courtesy of the Keck Institute for Space Studies. Image courtesy Keck Institute for Space Studies. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Plants convert energy from sunlight into chemical energy during a process called photosynthesis. This energy is passed on to humans and animals that eat the plants, and thus photosynthesis is the primary source of energy for all life on Earth.

But the photosynthetic activity of various regions is changing due to human interaction with the environment, including climate change, which makes large-scale studies of photosynthetic activity of interest. New research from a team including Carnegie's Joe Berry reveals a fundamentally new approach for measuring photosynthetic activity as it occurs around the planet. It is published this week by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Their work is based on a breakthrough in the capacity to use satellite technology to measure light that is emitted by plant leaves as a byproduct of photosynthesis. This light is called fluorescence and it is produced when sunlight excites the photosynthetic pigment chloropyll.

The method offers a direct measurement of activity occurring as the satellite passes overhead. Other approaches to detecting photosynthetic activity on a large scale are less direct, so until now, models have been the primary tool for estimating photosynthetic productivity on a planetary scale. The accuracy of these models has been difficult to evaluate.

"This new method uses satellites to sense fluorescence emitted during photosynthesis," Berry said. "It changes everything. It gives us a direct observation of photosynthesis on a large scale for the first time ever."

The team's paper reports on observations of fluorescence from large areas of crops in the Midwestern Corn Belt. The data show that the previous model-based estimates of photosynthesis are too low.

What's more, these studies provide a new-and-improved tool to evaluate the comparative productivity of the breadbaskets of the world, such as the Indo-Gangetic Plain and Eastern China. The relationship between fluorescence measured from space and gross primary production measured in the Corn Belt also provides a way for researchers to assess in near real-time the production of other, non-agricultural areas of the world, including vast expanses of uncultivated forests and grasslands.

This work was supported by the Emmy Noether Programme (GlobFluo project) of the German Research foundation, the NASA Carbon Cycle Science program, and the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive Science Definition Team. The Keck Institute for Space Studies funded the New Methods to Measure Photosynthesis from Space workshop at the Caltech Keck Institute for Space Studies.

.


Related Links
Carnegie Institution
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EARTH OBSERVATION
First Images Available from NASA-JAXA Global Rain and Snowfall Satellite
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Mar 26, 2014
NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have released the first images captured by their newest Earth-observing satellite, the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, which launched into space Feb. 27. The images show precipitation falling inside a March 10 cyclone over the northwest Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,000 miles east of Japan. The data were colle ... read more


EARTH OBSERVATION
Unique camera from NASA's moon missions sold at auction

Expeditions to the Moon: beware of meteorites

ASU camera creates stunning mosaic of moon's polar region

China's Jade Rabbit lunar rover rouses from latest slumber

EARTH OBSERVATION
Helpful Wind Cleans Solar Panels On Opportunity Mars Rover

NASA Mars Rover's Next Stop Has Sandstone Variations

Mars on Earth: vacuum chambers mimic the Red Planet

NASA Orbiter Finds New Gully Channel on Mars

EARTH OBSERVATION
You've got mail: Clinton-to-space laptop up for auction

E3-production - sustainable manufacturing

US more dependent on Russia in space, than Russia on US - NASA

TED turns 30 with new chapter of 'ideas worth spreading'

EARTH OBSERVATION
Tiangong's New Mission

"Space Odyssey": China's aspiration in future space exploration

China to launch first "space shuttle bus" this year

China expects to launch cargo ship into space around 2016

EARTH OBSERVATION
New ISS Crew Wrapping Up Training for Launch

How astronauts survive diplomatic tensions in space

NASA Extends Lockheed Martin Contract to Support ISS

Russian Progress Spacecraft Boosts ISS Orbit

EARTH OBSERVATION
Arianespace Launches ASTRA 5B and Amazonas 4A

SpaceX Launch to the ISS Reset for March 30

Ariane 5 hardware arrives for next ATV mission

Proton-M with two Russian communication satellites on board blasts off from Baikonur

EARTH OBSERVATION
Space Sunflower May Help Snap Pictures of Planets

NRL Researchers Detect Water Around a Hot Jupiter

UK joins the planet hunt with Europe's PLATO mission

X-ray laser FLASH spies deep into giant gas planets

EARTH OBSERVATION
Parallel programming may not be so daunting

China's rare earth trade limits break global rules: WTO

Big Data keeps complex production running smoothly

Facebook takes $2 billion dive into virtual reality




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.