Domingo Alcaraz-Segura, CAESCG researcher, will carry out a stay at the University of Maryland

His field of expertise will be Functional Ecosystem Types to improve climate prediction models.

Researcher Domingo Alcaraz-Segura will stay at the University of Maryland during the month of June as part of his collaboration with researchers José Paruelo, Esteban Jobbagy, Howie Epstein and Hugo Berbery in the characterization of seasonal dynamics and interannual trends in ecosystem functioning, and in the identification of functional types of ecosystems in the La Plata River basin for use in surface and atmospheric models. This collaboration is part of two projects funded by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research:

  • The impact of land-cover and land-use changes on the hydroclimate of the La Plata Basin (2008-2013, H. Berbery, University of Maryland)
  • Land use change in the Río de la Plata basin: linking biophysical and human factors to understand trends, assess impacts, and support viable strategies for the future (2006-2012, E. Jobbágy, Universidad Nacional de San Luis)

Specifically, during this stay, Domingo and Hugo will advance in the creation of an operational product that periodically generates maps of Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs) from MODIS-TERRA and AVHRR-NOAA-NESDIS satellite images. The objective of these EFT maps is to use them to improve the predictions of Global Climate Models. Preliminary research developed by Omar Muller, Seung Jae Lee, Hugo Berbery and Domingo show how the use of EFTs to estimate the biophysical variables that characterize land surface conditions in the Surface Models improves precipitation and temperature forecasts in South America.

To learn more:

Alcaraz-Segura D, Berbery EH, Lee S-J, Paruelo JM (2011) Use of Ecosystem Functional Types to represent the interannual variability of vegetation biophysical properties in regional models. CLIVAR Exchanges, 16(1), 23-27.

Berbery, E., Alcaraz-Segura, D., Lee, S.-J. y Müller, O. (2011). “The Effects of the Surface Conditions on Extreme Events: Regional Model Simulations using Ecosystem Functional Types”. WCRP Workshop on Drought Predictability and Prediction in a Changing Climate. 2-4 Marzo de 2011. Barcelona, España.

Müller, O., Berbery, E. y Alcaraz-Segura, D. (2011). “Using Ecosystem Functional Types as Lower Boundary Conditions during in Simulations of Droughts in Southern South America”. WCRP Open Science Conference: Climate Research in Service to Society. 24-28 Octubre. Denver, USA.

Alcaraz-Segura D, Paruelo JM, Cabello J (2006) Identification of current ecosystem functional types in the Iberian Peninsula. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 15, 200-212. [pdf] [Map (.shp)]

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