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Kyle Hemes joined the CMMAP summer internship program from just down the road at Colorado College in Colorado Springs where he is a senior majoring in environmental science with a concentration in chemistry. Professor Scott Denning was his advisor and he worked with graduate student Nick Parazoo and research scientist Ian Baker on spatiotemporal influence of vegetation on global surface-atmosphere exchange.

Global vegetation cover is a key element in the exchange of carbon and other trace gases between the land and atmosphere. Kyle found that an accurate understanding of the phenology within our global carbon models can help us to better represent the movement of carbon and our anthropogenic effects on the carbon cycle. He ran three separate phenology treatments through SiB3, the simple biosphere surface-atmosphere interaction model. While two of these treatments were traditional top down satellite remote sensing data sets, the third was a prognostic treatment, which computes leaf area index (LAI) and fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed (fPAR) from basic temperature, radiation, and humidity data.

Upon comparing the surface-atmosphere fluxes of these treatments run through the same model, he concluded that the tropical and savannah regions are those with the most significant disagreement between diagnostic and prognostic phenology treatments. Regions that are largely boreal or temperate agree highly between treatments. This research paves the way for a more focused adjustment of prognostic phenology and an eventual comparison to observational flask data. His research poster is here, Spatiotemporal influence of vegetation on global surface-atmosphere exchange (8MB PDF).

Kyle's other research interests include atmospheric chemistry, ozone dynamics/PSC's, energy retrofitting and tropical ecology. Outside of school, he enjoys big mountains, ultimate frisbee, cycling, southeast Asia and reading books.