Research to date indicates that rising global temperatures could have their greatest impact at higher latitudes (45° to 65°N), with the most marked effects within continental interiors; this includes predictions of significant warming and drying. In response to the need for data to better model the possible effects of global warming on boreal forests—which inhabit much of the northerly latitudes—the Boreal Ecosystems Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) was carried out between 1990 and 1999.
BOREAS was an international, interdisciplinary field campaign to improve understanding of boreal forest ecology the interactions between boreal forest and the atmosphere, how these interactions are affected by climate change, and how satellite imagery can be used to monitor these interactions [Sellers, et al., 1997]. BOREAS was a cooperative field experiment involving elements of land surface climatology, biogeochemistry and terrestrial ecology, with remote sensing playing a strong, integrating role. A primary objective was to collect the data needed to improve computer simulation models of the important processes controlling these exchanges, in order to improve capabilities to anticipate the effects of global change—principally altered temperature and precipitation patterns—on the biome.