– Report contributed by Annette Bartsch. CliC was a co-sponsor of the ESA-CliC-GTN-P DUE Permafrost workshop in February 2014 where discussions substantially contributed to the outcomes in this document.
Satellite data can complement in–situ permafrost monitoring as well as related modelling of land-atmosphere exchange processes. High to medium resolution optical, thermal and microwave acquisitions are required to capture processes along the permafrost transition zones, coastlines as well as over long-term monitoring sites in the Arctic and Antarctic. Especially data from SAR missions are of interest to capture subtle terrain changes and a range of tundra lake properties.
In response to requests from various Space Agencies and community research needs, Annett Bartsch from ZAMG – Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, lead the compilation of the White Paper on Requirements for Monitoring of Permafrost in Polar Regions. This report reviews the recent discussions of satellite data requirements for permafrost research, with a focus on current sensors in operation. Requirements independent from current technical constraints are available from the NRC (2014). In this report to the WMO-Polar Space Task Group recommendations are summarized for data acquisitions (areas to be covered and data specifications) with respect to selected target groups which directly investigate permafrost surface expressions and the actual target parameters of GTN-P/GCOS. Permafrost related issues are addressed by many other fields of research outside of core cryosphere research (e.g. climate modelling, greenhouse gases). The relevance of land surface parameters of globally available products are discussed in this context (including issues with current products).