Analysis of SAR and thermal satellite data time-series for understanding the long-term impact of land surface temperature changes on forests.
The European Forest Strategy (EC, 2013) underlined the importance of monitoring forests, since forests are an important global, environmental and ecological resource. Forests retrain water from moderate rainfall and therefore limit flooding events and soil erosion (CYPADAPT, 2016). They also act as carbon sinks, provide food, clean water and natural habitat for humans and other species. Climate change alters our environment by shifting weather conditions, rising sea levels, increases flood risks and threatens food production. This results into increased stress to our society, economy and environment (United-Nations). Shoukri and Zachariadis, 2012, stressed that Mediterranean Europe is expected to experience the most adverse climate change effects compared to other EU regions. According to MODIS data, the Land Surface Temperature (LST) of Cyprus has been increased from 2011 to 2017. Further, Cleland et al, 2017 showed that climate change confers shifts to plants blooming time. The question is: does LST relates to forest decline and does blooming timing of Cypriot forests have been altered over the years due to climate change? The overarching aim of this project is to research the impact of LST on Cypriot forests by anaysing time-series of SAR and thermal data. Impacts may include forest decline that does not relate to fire events, decreased forest density (e.g. biomass and leaf area index) and alternations to timing of forest blooming initiation, duration and termination. This project also analyses the understanding of the public sector about climate change and forest threats using questionnaires and relates the statistical results of the questionnaires to the output of the research. The results of the project could be used as scientific evidence for promoting environmentally friendly policies aiming to mitigate the effects of climate change, preserve a healthy ecosystem and consequently maintain social stability and stimulate economic growth.
The ‘ASTARTE’ project is divided into 9 Work Package:
WP1: Project Management
WP2: Dissemination Activities
WP3: Pre-processing of SAR data
WP4: Questionnaires to public sector
WP5: Analysis of time-series thermal data
WP6: Forest blooming timing models
WP7: Time-series phenology and density graphs
WP8: Climate and forest changes over years
WP9: Experiment strengths of Sentinel-5P