A new method to estimate tree biomass heat storage from thermal infrared (TIR) imaging of biomass surface temperature is presented. TIR images of the canopy are classified into trunk, branches, and leaves. The one-dimensional heat equation in cylindrical coordinates is forced with trunk and branch surface temperatures to simulate the temperature distribution and heat storage in tree trunks and branches. Assuming uniform leaf temperatures, heat storage in leaves is computed from the surface temperature of the leaves separately for the sunlit upper and shaded lower canopy. The sum of trunk, branches, leaf, and air heat storage gives the canopy heat storage. Measurements in a walnut orchard near Davis, California, in early June 2007 showed that biomass heat storage was of the same order as air heat storage and about 1% of daytime and 9% of nighttime net radiation.
Canopy heat storageSurface energy balanceThermal infrared imaging