Sunday 17 December 2017
 
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UAE sets up first eddy covariance station

ABU DHABI, 12 days ago

The Khalifa University of Science and Technology has announced that its state-of-the-art Masdar Institute Environmental Monitoring Platform (MIEMP) recently deployed at the Abu Dhabi Mangrove National Park, has become the first eddy covariance station in the Arab world to join the Fluxnet network.

Eddy covariance provides an accurate way to measure fluctuations of energy over a variety of ecosystems, including agricultural landscapes and water surfaces, said a statement from The Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

Fluxnet was established in 1997 with the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa).

It is a global network of over 900 active and historic micrometeorological stations that measure the net exchange of carbon dioxide, CO2, water vapour, and energy between the biosphere, the layer of the Earth where life exists, and the atmosphere, the thin layer of gases surrounding Earth, with the aim of improving understanding of the global carbon cycle, climate change and future climate scenarios.

Dr Annalisa Molini, a faculty member from the Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering Department, is leading the team of researchers overseeing the eddy covariance monitoring campaign at the Mangrove National Park.

To date, seven months of data has been collected through the MIEMP, which is aimed at strengthening environmental monitoring capability of the region.

"The main objective of the project is to improve our understanding of how hyper-arid regions contribute to the global carbon cycle, and to shed some light on how drought- and salt-resilient plants like mangroves can either store or exchange carbon with the atmosphere," explained Dr Molini.

To measure how ecosystems exchange carbon and water with the atmosphere, Fluxnet stations rely on state-of-the-art micrometeorological tools and a standard method, called the eddy covariance method.
Special instruments called sonic anemometers, which measure the horizontal and vertical components of wind, and infrared gas analysers, which measure CO2 and water vapour concentrations in the air, work in-sync, taking 10 measurements per second.

"We know that mangrove forests are extremely ‘good’ at storing carbon," said PhD student Saverio Perri, who designed and coordinated the eddy covariance tower deployment at the Abu Dhabi Mangrove National Park.

The Abu Dhabi Mangrove National Park eddy covariance station has been deployed with the support of Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi.-TradeArabia News Service




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