Information Preservation and Change Detection across Spatial Scales in the Assessment of Global CH4 Emission Estimates from Wetlands

By Abdulwasey Mohammed, Paul C. Stoy and Tim J. Malthus.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The accurate estimation of methane, a greenhouse gas, from natural sources such as peatlands is vital for overall assessment of global climate change. Investigations that rely on process-based models that derive CH4 emissions from natural wetlands as a function of variables such as soil temperature, water table depth and aerenchymateous vegetation measured at plot scales may produce biased results when extrapolated to landscape, regional and global levels. This is because assumptions such as average water table depth, vegetation patchiness, and microclimate that must be ‘scaled up’ from the plot to larger scales. Heterogeneity is an inherent characteristic of wetlands, and the relationships between CH4 and variables deriving methane emissions are non-linear. These limitations can be overcome by independent remote sensing data with multi-spatio-temporal resolutions acquired from different sensors and platforms. This paper discusses novel techniques from information theory applied to preserve the information content of edaphic and vegetative characteristics of a peatland ecosystem in Scotland. Our results demonstrate shifting patterns in the information retrieved as the pixel resolution decreases. We report the changes in processes and patterns across different scales which would help improve the overall performance of the process based models at global scales.

Keywords: Methane, Peatland, Up Scaling, Heterogeneity, Information theory, Shannon entropy, Kulback-Leibler distance, Quadratic approximation, Remote Sensing, Spatio-Temporal Resolution, Global Change

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.93-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.756MB).

Mr. Abdulwasey Mohammed

PhD, Grant Institute, The School of GeoSciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Abdulwasey Mohammed was born in Hyderabad, India. He studied Civil engineering as his first degree in Osmania University, Hyderabad, India in 1996 and MSc in Computational Mechanics of Materials and Structures in Stuttgart University, Germany. After successfully completing this program he joined Technical University of Munich, Germany in 2002 to study MSc in Sustainable resource management. Here he developed interest in the remote sensing technology and its applications in natural resource management. This motivated him to pursue a research career and joined Edinburgh University to do PhD. Currently, he is in the final phase of his PhD program in Edinburgh University, Scotland. His research topic is about “Scaling up peatland methane emission estimates from small to large scale”, using high resolution air/space borne RS sensors. He is sponsored by the Royal society in collaboration with NERC in the UK. The crux of his research is to quantify the fine scale peatlands heterogeneity, which is responsible for the non-linear variation in methane emissions and scale it up from plot to landscape and regional levels and global scales.

Paul C. Stoy

Research Associate, School of GeoScience, The University of Edinburgh, UK

Paul Stoy is a Physiological and Ecosystem Ecologist at the University of Edinburgh with interests in biosphere-atmosphere carbon, water and energy exchange, especially in forested and arctic ecosystems.

Tim J. Malthus

Senior Lecturer in Remote Sensing, The School of GeoSciences, The University of Edinburgh, UK

Tim Malthus has research interests in hyperspectral and hyperspatial optical remote sensing techniques with particular focus on vegetation, and inland and coastal waters and to apply the resulting knowledge in the development of techniques for operational use.

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