Newsletter No.3 July-1998@

Introduction of the researchers
(Joint Research Satellite Facility at Tsukuba)

Dr.Rikie Suzuki

The vegetation cover over northern Asia in the summer of 1990.

The figure below shows the vegetation covering northern Asia in the summer of 1990. The green and brown colours indicate the areas where the quantity of green leaves is thick and sparse, respectively. Since 1980, the aspects of vegetation as shown in this figure, have been monitored by the meteorological satellite, and utilized for the researches. From this figure, you can see that the Siberian land mass is covered with the taiga forest.
In the taiga zone, total precipitation per year is the fairly small amount of about 200 - 300mm, which is comparable in quantity with that in the Mongolian plain, where forest rarely exists, only with wide grassy plains and /or deserts. One of the reasons why there is such a big forest zone in Siberia, may be that the tundra formed in the ground creates an impermeability layer which keeps precipitated water near the ground surface, and secures it to nurture the forest. Some parts of the interrelation between vegetation and climate still remain unclear, which, in turn, arouses my interest. I am now proceeding with my research, which encompasses the connection between a wide variety of vegetation aspects as observed by satellites, and the atmosphere in Siberia.

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