Changes in the seasonal CO2 flux of the boreal forests may result from increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations and associated global warming patterns. To monitor this potential change, a combination of information derived from remote sensing data, including forest type and growing season length, and ecophysiological models which predict the CO2 flux and its seasonal amplitude based on meteorological data, are required. The authors address the use of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to map forest type and monitor canopy and soil freeze/thaw, which define the growing season for conifers, and leaf on/off, which defines the growing season for deciduous species. Aircraft SAR (AIRSAR) data collected in March 1988 during a freeze/thaw event are used to generate species maps and to determine the sensitivity of SAR to canopy freeze/thaw transitions. These data are also used to validate a microwave scattering model which is then used to determine the sensitivity of SAR to leaf on/off transitions and soil freeze/thaw. Finally, a CO2 flux algorithm is presented which utilizes SAR data and an ecophysiological model to estimate CO2 flux. CO 2 flux maps are generated, from which areal estimates of CO 2 flux are derived.