Remote Sensing and Earth System Dynamics: The Helmholtz Alliance

Monday, 15 December 2014: 5:00 PM
Irena Hajnsek1, Michael Eineder2, Thomas R Walter3, Anke Maria Friedrich4, Peter Bieber5, Andreas Huth6, Konstantinos Papathanassiou2, Carsten Montzka7, Ute Wollschläger6, Boris Thies8, Angelika Humbert9, Mathias Braun10, Gerhard Krieger2 and Alberto Moreira2, (1)ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, (2)German Aerospace Center DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, Wessling, Germany, (3)Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany, (4)Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - LMU, Munich, Germany, (5)Technical University of Munich - TUM, Munich, Germany, (6)Umweltforschungszentrum Leibzig -UFZ, Leibzig, Germany, (7)Forschungszentrum Julich - IBG-3, Julich, Germany, (8)Philipps-University, Marburg, Germany, (9)Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz-Center for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven, Bremerhaven, Germany, (10)Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany
The main objective of the five year funded German Helmholtz Alliance “Remote Sensing and Earth System Dynamics” is the development and evaluation of novel bio/geo-physical information products derived from data acquired by a new generation of remote sensing satellites; and their integration in Earth system models for improving understanding and modelling the ability of global environmental processes and ecosystem change. The Alliance is organized in 4 research topics, each one dedicated to a specific Earth sphere with a specific scientific goal:
  • Biosphere: Global forest structure and biomass dynamics are evaluated for forest and biodiversity monitoring and the quantification of the global carbon cycle;
  • Geosphere: The ability to measure topographic variations with millimeter accuracy is explored for improving the understanding of earthquake and volcano activities;
  • Hydrosphere: The quantification of soil moisture and its variations at high spatial resolution is assessed with respect to hydrological models and the global water cycle;
  • Cryosphere: The estimation of melting processes in snow, ice and permafrost regions is addressed in terms of global climate change.

The Alliance has been founded in June 2012 and comprises around 120 scientists with a financial support for 50 PhDs and Postdocs having different backgrounds and nationalities. 18 national research centers and universities are participating which represent a unique opportunity to exploit and widen the expertise of all participating centers and to maximize their role and contribution in the international environmental change science. In this talk the objectives of the Alliance and research highlights will be presented which were obtained in the first 2.5 years of its research activities.