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Prospects for chlorophyll fluorescence remote sensing from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2

Frankenberg, Christian and O'Dell, Chris and Berry, Joseph and Guanter, Luis and Joiner, Joanna and Köhler, Philipp and Pollock, Randy and Taylor, Thomas E. (2014) Prospects for chlorophyll fluorescence remote sensing from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. Remote Sensing of Environment, 147 . pp. 1-12. ISSN 0034-4257. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2014.02.007.

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The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), scheduled to launch in July 2014, is a NASA mission designed to measure atmospheric CO_2. Its main purpose is to allow inversions of net flux estimates of CO_2 on regional to continental scales using the total column CO_2 retrieved using high-resolution spectra in the 0.76, 1.6, and 2.0 μm ranges. Recently, it was shown that solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF), a proxy for gross primary production (GPP, carbon uptake through photosynthesis), can be accurately retrieved from space using high spectral resolution radiances in the 750 nm range from the Japanese GOSAT and European GOME-2 instruments. Here, we use real OCO-2 thermal vacuum test data as well as a full repeat cycle (16 days) of simulated OCO-2 spectra under realistic conditions to evaluate the potential of OCO-2 for retrievals of chlorophyll fluorescence and also its dependence on clouds and aerosols. We find that the single-measurement precision is 0.3–0.5 W m^(− 2) sr^(− )1 μm^(−1) (15–25% of typical peak values), better than current measurements from space but still difficult to interpret on a single-sounding basis. The most significant advancement will come from smaller ground-pixel sizes and increased measurement frequency, with a 100-fold increase compared to GOSAT (and about 8 times higher than GOME-2). This will largely decrease the need for coarse spatial and temporal averaging in data analysis and pave the way to accurate local studies. We also find that the lack of full global mapping from the OCO-2 only incurs small representativeness errors on regional averages. Eventually, the combination of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) derived from CO_2 source/sink inversions and SIF as proxy for GPP from the same satellite will provide a more process-based understanding of the global carbon cycle.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Frankenberg, Christian0000-0002-0546-5857
Guanter, Luis0000-0002-8389-5764
Joiner, Joanna0000-0003-4278-1020
Köhler, Philipp0000-0002-7820-1318
Additional Information:© 2014 Elsevier. Received 21 August 2013, Revised 4 February 2014, Accepted 7 February 2014, Available online 12 March 2014. Part of the research described in this paper was carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ©2013. All rights reserved. The Colorado State University contributions to the ACOS task were supported by NASA contract 1439002. We thank 4 anonymous reviewers for thorough and constructive reviews that strengthened the manuscript substantially.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Chlorophyll fluorescence; GPP; OCO; OCO-2; Atmospheric carbon
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160222-140433418
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Official Citation:Christian Frankenberg, Chris O'Dell, Joseph Berry, Luis Guanter, Joanna Joiner, Philipp Köhler, Randy Pollock, Thomas E. Taylor, Prospects for chlorophyll fluorescence remote sensing from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 147, 5 May 2014, Pages 1-12, ISSN 0034-4257, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64643
Deposited By: Colette Connor
Deposited On:22 Feb 2016 23:58
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:33

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