The tropical regions of the Earth play a crucial role in the evolution of the global thermodynamic surface-atmosphere system, and in the socio-ecological processes on our planet. The well known clichés describing the tropics as "the firebox of the atmosphere" and "the lungs of the planet" are not exaggerations. The principle purposes of this book are to demonstrate the unique capabilities of modern remote sensing techniques for the observation and monitoring of tropical ecosystems, and to substantiate the scientific rationale for studies of the Earth's tropical regions. In the first part of this book, the author places particular emphasis on specific features of low-latitude conditions, such as tropical cyclones, mesoscale tropical systems, dynamical features in tropical oceans, and the temperature and humidity structure of the tropical atmosphere. Remote sensing of the tropics in the visual and infrared bands is severely limited by cloud cover, and for this reason microwave remote sensing is of great importance for observations of tropical systems. In the second part of this book, the author considers the basic principles of microwave sounding, and the role of both passive and active remote sensing methods for tropical ecosystem monitoring. He presents examples of applications in areas such as rainforest monitoring, crop mapping, population distribution, hydrology studies and the monitoring of biomass burning and active geodetic zones. The book concludes with a synopsis of the current status of operational satellite systems and future plans for tropical studies using remote sensing. Readership: Undergraduate and postgraduate students of geography, meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics, geophysics, oceanography, tropical agriculture and environmental science. Professional scientists, environmentalists and engineers concerned with tropical ecosystems, and government agencies and industries involved with management, planning and hazard assessment in tropical regions.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Scientific Rationale for Tropical Studies.
Airspace Remote Sensing of Tropical Cyclones.
The Tropical Atmosphere-Ocean System and Remote Sensing.
Tropical Seas and Remote Sensing.
Atmospheric Remote Sensing.
The Physical Basis for Microwave Sounding.
Tropical Land and Remote Sensing.
Space Activity for Tropical Studies.
References and Bibliography.
List of Acronyms.