Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Looking skyward to study ecosystem carbon dynamics

April 1, 2012

Between May and October 2011 the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program, conducted a field campaign at the ARM Southern Great Plains site in north central Oklahoma to evaluate a new instrument for quantitative image-based monitoring of sky conditions and solar radiation. The High Dynamic Range All-Sky Imaging System (HDR-ASIS) was developed by USGS to support studies of cloud- and aerosol-induced variability in the geometric properties of solar radiation (the sky radiance distribution) and its effects on photosynthesis and uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) by terrestrial ecosystems. Under a clean, cloudless atmosphere when the Sun is above the horizon, most of the solar radiation reaching an area of the Earth's surface is concentrated in a beam coming directly from the Sun; a relatively small proportion arrives as diffuse radiation from the rest of the sky. Clouds and atmospheric aerosols cause increased scattering of the beam radiation, which increases the proportion of diffuse radiation at the surface.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2012
Title Looking skyward to study ecosystem carbon dynamics
DOI 10.1029/2012EO140002
Authors Dennis G. Dye
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union
Index ID 70093925
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Geographic Science Center

Related Content