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Towards a harmonized long‐term spaceborne record of far‐red solar induced fluorescence

Parazoo, Nicholas C. and Frankenberg, Christian and Köhler, Philipp and Joiner, Joanna and Yoshida, Yasuko and Magney, Troy and Sun, Ying and Yadav, Vineet (2019) Towards a harmonized long‐term spaceborne record of far‐red solar induced fluorescence. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 124 (8). pp. 2518-2539. ISSN 2169-8953. doi:10.1029/2019jg005289.

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Far‐red solar‐induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) has been retrieved from multiple satellites with nearly continuous global coverage since 1996. Multiple official and research‐grade retrievals provide a means for cross validation across sensors and algorithms, but produces substantial variation across products due to differences in instrument characteristics and retrieval algorithm. The lack of a consistent, calibrated SIF data set hampers scientific interpretation of planetary photosynthesis. NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO‐2) offers small sampling footprints, high data acquisition, and repeating spatially resolved targets at bioclimatically diverse locations, providing a unique benchmark for spaceborne sensors traceable to ground data. We leverage overlap between the longer running Global Ozone Monitoring Instrument version 2 (GOME‐2) SIF time series, and more recent state‐of‐the‐art OCO‐2 and TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) data, in a first attempt to reconcile inconsistencies in the long‐term record. After screening and correcting for key instrument differences (time of day, wavelength, Sun‐sensor geometry, cloud effects, footprint area), we find that Global Ozone Monitoring Instrument version 2 and TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument perform exceedingly well in capturing spatial, seasonal, and interannual variability across OCO‐2 targets. However, Global Ozone Monitoring Instrument version 2 retrieval methods differ by up to a factor of 2 in signal‐to‐noise and magnitude. Magnitude differences are largely attributed to retrieval window choice, with wider windows producing higher magnitudes. The assumed SIF spectral shape has negligible effect. Substantial research is needed to understand remaining sensitivities to atmospheric absorption and reflectance. We conclude that OCO‐2 and TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument have opened up the possibility to produce a multidecadal SIF record with well‐characterized uncertainty and error quantification for overlapping instruments, enabling back‐calibration of previous instruments and production of a consistent, research‐grade, harmonized time series.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Parazoo, Nicholas C.0000-0002-4424-7780
Frankenberg, Christian0000-0002-0546-5857
Köhler, Philipp0000-0002-7820-1318
Joiner, Joanna0000-0003-4278-1020
Magney, Troy0000-0002-9033-0024
Sun, Ying0000-0002-9819-1241
Yadav, Vineet0000-0002-2805-3345
Additional Information:© 2019 American Geophysical Union. Received 5 JUN 2019; Accepted 15 JUL 2019; Accepted article online 25 JUL 2019; Published online 14 AUG 2019. We thank Greg Ostermann for setting up the OCO‐2 target selections. The data sets generated and/or analyzed for the current study are available at data repositories hosted at the Goddard Space Flight Center (, the California Institute for Technology (airborne and satellite data here:, Photospec data here: A portion of these data were produced by the OCO‐2 project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, and obtained from the OCO‐2 data archive maintained at the NASA Goddard Earth Science Data and Information Services Center. A portion of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. Support from the Earth Science Division MEaSUREs program is acknowledged.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Fluorescence; vegetation; remote sensing; carbon cycle; oco‐2; tropomi
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190725-125945145
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Official Citation:Parazoo, N. C., Frankenberg, C., Köhler, P., Joiner, J., Yoshida, Y., Magney, T., et al. (2019). Towards a harmonized long‐term spaceborne record of far‐red solar‐induced fluorescence. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 124, 2518–2539.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97421
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:25 Jul 2019 20:30
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:31

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