Integrative Biometeorology

Micrometeorology for better atmospheric models and biological discovery

Welcome to the Integrative Biometeorology Lab

We are a research lab at North Carolina State University. Our goal is to study how the biosphere and hydrosphere affect processes in the atmospheric boundary layer. With our research, we seek to improve air quality, agricultural, and weather models, and in parallel, push discoveries in understudied biological processes. Please see our core research areas below.

The height of the atmospheric boundary layer drives the dilution of contaminants and other trace gases at the Earth’s surface; therefore, it is vitally important to create accurate atmospheric and weather models. Our team investigates to what extent biophysical processes drive the height of the atmospheric boundary layer and how we can produce better parameterizations for models with applications to the wind energy sector, air quality, forest fires, and urban heat island effect, among others.

Diversity of plant structure and function can have a strong effect on weather and climate patterns. Similarly, changes in atmospheric conditions result in adjustments of photosynthesis and transpiration rates from the ecosystem. The goal of this research area is to quantify these plant-atmosphere feedbacks at the scale of the atmospheric boundary layer to better understand how plants will adjust to climate change and identify and quantify those processes that can reduce or increase plant performance.

We can measure the exchange of greenhouse gases from different crops and determine the effect of different management practices on the emission of greenhouse gases and the storage of carbon in the soil. Ultimately, the goal of this research area is to obtain the most accurate micrometeorological observations in combination with soil measurements to implement changes in soil/crop management that can prevent the release of carbon from the soil to the atmosphere.

Wetlands offer multiple ecosystem services, including habitat for flora and fauna, improvement of water quality, and carbon sequestration. However, wetlands can also emit large amounts of methane and the processes by which this methane is emitted to the atmosphere remain understudied. Understanding how much carbon these wetlands sequester and the main environmental and biological drivers of methane emissions will allow us to create more accurate models and better predict how these ecosystems will react to climate change.

Our goal is to improve estimates of evaporation from different crops and natural systems to aid water management decisions. With the use of the the eddy-covariance technique we can measure water exchange at a desired location, and with ancillary measurements, create models that can be later applied to other areas in combination with satellite data and reanalysis data from climate and weather models.

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