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United States and Russia. Satellite technology to forecast flash droughts, in times of new agriculture scenarios.

Today is Tuesday, 4 June 2024.

Scientists are looking to space-based tools to help forecast fast droughts, responsible for severe agricultural losses in recent years.

Here is what a recent press from NASA indicates.

Growing plants emit a form of light detectable by NASA satellites orbiting Earth. While the glow is invisible to the naked eye, it can be detected by instruments aboard satellites.

The researchers compared years of fluorescence data to an inventory of flash droughts that struck the United States. They found a domino effect: In the weeks and months leading up to a flash drought, vegetation initially thrived as conditions turned warm and dry. The flourishing plants emitted an unusually strong fluorescence signal for the time of year.

The scientists found that the unusual fluorescence pattern correlated extremely well with soil moisture losses in the six to 12 weeks before a flash drought.

This means that plant fluorescence “shows promise as a reliable early warning indicator of flash drought with enough lead time to take action,” according to Nicholas Parazoo, an Earth scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and lead author of this recent study.

In addition to trying to predict flash droughts, the scientists wanted to understand how these impact carbon emissions. As everyone knows, by converting CO2 into food during photosynthesis, plants and trees are carbon “sinks,” absorbing more CO2 from the atmosphere than they release.

Click here for NASA’s press release. And at the image below for the study “Antecedent Conditions Mitigate Carbon Loss During Flash Drought Events”.

Carbon Credit Markets have been also advocating about the impact of climate change in global arable land.

Not only water related issues, like reported above, but also referring to less and less frozen areas in the four largest countries of the World - Russia, Canada, China and United States - leading to a significant expansion of their agriculture.

Recent news from the International Grain Council - as an example - indicate that this agricultural year (July 2023-June 2024) Russia will be responsible for over 26% of wheat production. This means, one in every four slices of bread.

The organization predicts that Russia will export 53.1 million tons of wheat, more than double the amount it shipped 10 years ago and the highest export volume in modern history, exceeding last year's figure by almost 10%.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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