Micrometeorology for better atmospheric models and biological discovery
Welcome to the Integrative Biometeorology Lab
We are a research laboratory at North Carolina State University. We study land-atmosphere interactions seeking 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 land exerts a strong influence on the state of the atmosphere, particularly in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), which extends from the surface to an elevation of ~1-2 km. The height of the ABL drives the dilution of contaminants and other trace gases at the Earth’s surface and affects the temperature and humidity we experience. Our team investigates to what extent biophysical processes drive the height of the atmospheric boundary layer and how we can use this information to produce better predictions of air quality, extreme temperature, and water stress, among others.
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased steadily since the beginning of the industrial revolution, resulting in the warming of the planet. Today, different ecosystems and agricultural lands are being considered as potential natural solutions for the removal of carbon from the atmosphere. The goal of this research area is to obtain the most accurate micrometeorological observations for the quantification of carbon sequestration in crops, forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems being evaluated for their potential to sequester carbon dioxide from 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.
Many agricultural lands are located in water-scarce areas where optimization of water use is a necessity. Our goal is to improve estimates of evaporation from different crops and natural systems to aid water management decisions. With the use of the eddy-covariance technique, we can measure water exchange at a desired location, and use this information to validate current models built with remotely sensed and reanalysis data.