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Tansley review Flux towers in the sky : global ecology from space New Phytol

Schimel, D., F. Schneider, and C. A. E. Jpl (2019), Tansley review Flux towers in the sky : global ecology from space New Phytol, Schneider F D and JPL Carbon and Ecosystem Participants, 224, 570-84-15, doi:10.1111/nph.15934.
Global ecology – the study of the interactions among the Earth’s ecosystems, land, atmosphere
and oceans – depends crucially on global observations: this paper focuses on space-based
observations of global terrestrial ecosystems. Early global ecology relied on an extrapolation of
detailed site-level observations, using models of increasing complexity. Modern global ecology
has been enabled largely by vegetation indices (greenness) from operational space-based
imagery but current capabilities greatly expand scientific possibilities. New observations from
spacecraft in orbit allowed an estimation of gross carbon fluxes, photosynthesis, biomass
burning, evapotranspiration and biomass, to create virtual eddy covariance sites in the sky.
Planned missions will reveal the dimensions of the diversity of life itself. These observations will
improve our understanding of the global productivity and carbon storage, land use, carbon
cycleclimate feedback, diversityproductivity relationships and enable improved climate
forecasts. Advances in remote sensing challenge ecologists to relate information organised by
biome and species to new data arrayed by pixels and develop theory to address previously
unobserved scales.
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Research Program: 
Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems Program (CCEP)