The Earth system data lab is a new virtual lab developed by an ESA project to simultaneously access a wide array of Earth observations across space, time and variables. The principle idea is to explore the joint information of derived data streams as produced by several international scientific teams. Essentially, the ESDL consist of two elements: a highly curated “Earth system data cube” primarily constructed to investigate land-atmosphere interactions and an interface to execute analyses on the data cube.
The research proposal by Yannis Markonis “The effect of albedo and vegetation feedbacks in drought propagation” was accepted for implementation in ESA’s virtual lab. The outcome of the research project will determine whether capturing the feedbacks related to vegetation and albedo changes may be as important as capturing the soil moisture–precipitation feedback in terms of drought propagation. This can help us, improve our drought mitigation attempts and most importantly implement precautionary policies that concern vegetation and/or land use changes. In addition, a secondary objective will be to detect whether the changes in drought properties that appear in our hydrological simulations are also evident in ESDL data.