Researchers report that it is possible to use data from satellites in measuring the climate change threat to ecological systems that depend on fog water.
Their new report presents the initial clear proof that the relationship between the vegetation status and fog level is measurable by the use of distant sensing.
Lixin Wang, who is a senior author and an associate professor at Indian University-Purdue University Indianapolis, states that it has never been shown in the past that you can see the impacts of fog on plants from the space.
The call for understanding the correlation between vegetation and fog is critical because environmental change is decreasing the levels of fog all over the world. The move majorly affects areas that depend on fog for water, and this includes the Atacama Desert located in Chile, the redwood forests in California, and Namibia’s Namib desert with the first two presently known as World Heritage spots under the United Nations because of their biological rarity.
Na Qiao, who is an author, states that the loss of fog puts plants and insects species in danger, in those locations, most of which do not exist elsewhere in the globe. He adds that the effect of fog loss on plants is by now crystal clear, and it might potentially manipulate environmental protection policies if they could pair the data with large-scale effect measurements based on satellite data.
The research is based on microwave and optical satellite data, along with a report on fog levels from climate stations at two areas in the Namib Desert operated by the Gobabeb Namib research Institute. The satellite data came from the US Geological Survey, and NASA and the fog analysis are from between the years of 2015 to 2017.
At least every year, Wang and student researchers travel on a dirt road to the distant facility, which is a two-hour drive from the closest city to carry out field research.
The researchers discovered a noteworthy correlation between vegetation status and fog levels, near the two weather stations throughout the entire time of the research. Among other discoveries, the optical data from a neighboring site near the research center revealed clear signs of vegetation greening following fog, and up to 15 percent advanced measures during fog periods versus the periods without fog.
Comparable patterns were observed at the following site, situated near a neighboring rock formation.