Fractional vegetation cover is an important parameter in the land surface schemes operating in atmospheric models, since the amount of vegetation determines which share of the incoming radiation is converted into evapotranspiration rather than sensible heat. In particular, the correct specification of patterns of vegetation abundance is important in the context of urban climate modelling, since urban-rural temperature differences are considerably affected by differences in the occurrence of vegetation amount. In the LAMA project, we employed remote sensing imagery from the MERIS instrument on-board the ENVISAT satellite platform to obtain monthly maps of fractional vegetation cover, at a spatial resolution of 300m.
Figure: Simulation domain at 1 km resolution with centre at latitude 51.06 degrees and longitude 4.36 degrees for the simulation of March 2003. The left panel shows the vegetation cover fraction derived from MERIS. The right panel shows the land use types, the legend shows from left to right: water, continuous urban, discontinuous urban, industrial, pasture, crops, forest, snow/ice, shrubs.