The principal aim of global ecosystem studies at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, is to better
understand the controls on biogenic trace gas fluxes and the ecosystem processes that regulate these gases.
The research combines analysis of multi-year global data sets derived mainly from satellite observations
with simulation models of terrestrial ecosystem processes on local to regional or global scales. The study
approach includes analysis of past and present changes in the biosphere's carbon and nitrogen cycles driven
by climate and land use, as part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise.
The research scope also includes studies of Earth's ecosystems as analogs to life on other planets, as part
of the NASA program in Astrobiology.
Global ecosystem studies at NASA Ames are coordinated with interdisciplinary research in land use change,
tropospheric chemistry, climate modeling, and information technology at NASA research centers,
universities, and non-profit research centers around the world.
Computer simulations are being developed in collaboration with NASA's Center of Excellence of Information
Technology located at Ames Research Center.
One of the main research tools at NASA Ames is a global simulation model that combines multi-year
satellite, climate, and other land surface databases to estimate biosphere- atmosphere exchange of energy,
water, and trace gases from plants and soils. Fluxes of all major biogenic "greenhouse" gases and reactive
tropospheric gases are simulated using the NASA-CASA Model.