Global retrievals of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence with TROPOMI: First...

Köehler, P., C. Frankenberg, T. S. Magney, L. Guanter, J. Joiner, and J. Landgraf (2018), Global retrievals of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence with TROPOMI: First results and intersensor comparison to OCO-2, Geophys. Res. Lett., 45, 10,456-10,463, doi:10.1029/2018GL079031.

In recent years, solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) retrieved from spaceborne spectrometers has been extensively used as a proxy for terrestrial photosynthesis at relatively sparse temporal and spatial scales. The near-infrared band of the recently launched TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) features the required spectral resolution and signal-to-noise ratio to retrieve SIF in a spectral range devoid of atmospheric absorption features. We find that initial TROPOMI spectra meet high expectations for a substantially improved spatiotemporal resolution (up to 7-km × 3.5-km pixels with daily revisit), representing a step change in SIF remote sensing capabilities. However, interpretation requires caution, as the broad range of viewing-illumination geometries covered by TROPOMI’s 2,600-km-wide swath needs to be taken into account. A first intersensor comparison with OCO-2 (Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2) SIF shows excellent agreement, underscoring the high quality of TROPOMI’s SIF retrievals and the notable radiometric performance of the instrument. Plain Language Summary Photosynthesis is the most essential process for life on Earth, but gradually changing environmental conditions such as increasing concentrations of atmospheric trace gases, rising temperatures, or reduced water availability could adversely affect the photosynthetic productivity. The recently launched TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument is designed to monitor atmospheric trace gases and air pollutants with an unprecedented resolution in space and time, while its radiometric performance also permits us to see a weak electromagnetic signal emitted by photosynthetically active vegetation—solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF). Mounting evidence suggests that SIF observations from satellite instruments augment our abilities to track the photosynthetic performance and carbon uptake of terrestrial vegetation. In this study, we present the first TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument SIF retrievals, largely outperforming previous and existing capabilities for a spatial continuous monitoring of SIF from space.

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Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)