Brian Dunbar Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

April 22, 1994 (Phone: 202/358-1547) Allen Kenitzer Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. (Phone: 301/286-2806) RELEASE: 94-65 50 SCIENTISTS STUDY CANADIAN FORESTS' IMPACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE U.S., Canadian and European scientists have begun the second phase of a detailed ecological study of the forests of Canada and the role these forests play in climate change. The Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) is a large-scale, ground-based and remote-sensing investigation of how the forests and the atmosphere exchange energy, heat, water, carbon dioxide and other trace gases. The goal of BOREAS is to better understand these exchanges and to improve computer models of these processes, allowing scientists to anticipate the effects of climate change on the region and across planet Earth. From April 11 to May 2, approximately 50 scientists will study the forests during the annual snowmelt, concentrating on processes in the soil, vegetation and lower Earth atmosphere as the snow melts and Earth's surface warms up. The second of five intensive campaigns that make up BOREAS, the Focused Field Campaign-Thaw (FFC-T) will take advantage of the just completed, first flight of the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL). Carried aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, SRL repeatedly imaged the BOREAS ground sites allowing scientists to compare the spaceborne data with their readings from ground and aircraft

investigations. BOREAS and SRL are components of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, the agency's coordinated, long-term program to study the Earth as the single environmental system it is. Mission to Planet Earth will combine ground-based, aircraft and satellite data gathered to investigate how Earth's global environment is changing and to distinguish human-induced changes from natural changes. Mission to Planet Earth data, which will be distributed to researchers worldwide, will help people and governments make informed decisions about how they are affecting the environment. - more -2Of primary interest in the BOREAS thaw campaign is how the sun's energy heats the vegetation, the snow and the underlying soil to produce melting and release gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, into the atmosphere. Increasing atmospheric concentrations of these gases may affect the Earth's climate and weather. The collected data will be processed and stored at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., for analysis over the next 3 years by the 85 BOREAS science teams. The results will be used to improve models of the global environment, especially how the Earth's climate and vegetation will respond to global change. Global weather-prediction models also should benefit from this work. Specialized equipment will be used to measure the exchanges of heat, radiation, water and carbon dioxide between the surface and the atmosphere, while aircraft are used to take high-resolution images of the study sites as Earth- observing satellites pass over. Data from the U.S. Landsat, NOAA and GOES satellites and the French SPOT satellites will be used. NASA aircraft -- a C-130, DC-8 and a high-altitude ER-2 aircraft, managed by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif., _ also will overfly the sites with remote-sensing instruments. Participating agencies in the United States include NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Forest Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. Canadian participants include the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, the

Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the National Research Council. BOREAS contributes to each country's Global Change Research Program. - end Note to Editors: An image taken by the Space Radar Laboratory of the BOREAS ground site is available to news media from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Phone: 818/354-5011. The image is available electronically to the general public over the Internet at the address JPLINFO.JPL.NASA.GOV.