“Climate change in the Arctic and Boreal region is unfolding faster than anywhere else on Earth, resulting in reduced Arctic sea ice, thawing of permafrost soils, decomposition of long- frozen organic matter, widespread changes to lakes, rivers, coastlines, and alterations of ecosystem structure and function. NASA’s Terrestrial Ecology Program is conducting a major field campaign, the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), in Alaska and western Canada, for 8 to 10 years, starting in 2015. ABoVE seeks a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems and society to this changing environment.
WHAT IS ABoVE? The Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) is a NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program field campaign that will be conducted in Alaska and Western Canada (see Study Domain). ABoVE is a large-scale study of environmental change and its implications for social-ecological systems. ABoVE’s science objectives are broadly focused on (1) gaining a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of Arctic and boreal ecosystems to environmental change in western North America, and (2) providing the scientific basis for informed decision-making to guide societal responses at local to international levels. Research for ABoVE will link field-based, process-level studies with geospatial data products derived from airborne and satellite sensors, providing a foundation for improving the analysis, and modeling capabilities needed to understand and predict ecosystem responses and societal implications. The planning for ABoVE started in 2009 with a scoping study. Throughout 2013, the science definition team wrote a concise experiment plan that was completed 2014. The first ABoVE call for proposals appeared in ROSES 2014 (see Timeline).