Climate change is expected to cause an increase in extreme weather events. In Central Europe, this is already visible in the form of intensive drought.
The extremely hot, dry summer of 2018 in fact surpassed the drought of 2003, and was made worse by another relatively dry year in 2019. As a result, large swatches of forest in Germany were badly damaged or even died off. In addition to this, the stress of drought made trees particularly susceptible to consequential damage such as large-scale attacks by bark beetles.
This was followed by heated debates on how well our forests will cope with most frequent, more intensive periods of drought.
In order to develop effective management strategies for this, we need to be able to efficiently monitor and analyse damage caused by drought.
Here, satellite-based remote sensing affords manifold opportunities to conduct large-scale monitoring and analysis and to supplement data collections on-site.
A suitable data type for this are optical Sentinel-2 data. Made freely available by the European Copernicus Programme, this data, in comparison to other satellite images, provides a relatively high spatial and temporal resolution.
The objective of this doctoral degree is to examine the damage caused by drought in 2018 with the help of Sentinel-2. It needs to be clarified which forests reacted particularly sensitively to drought, and what role is played by the forest structure or ground, for instance.