Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-454
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-454

  08 Jan 2021

08 Jan 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Reviews and syntheses: Ongoing and emerging opportunities to improve environmental science using observations from the Advanced Baseline Imager on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites

Anam M. Khan1, Paul C. Stoy1,2,3,4, James T. Douglas4, Martha Anderson5, George Diak6, Jason A. Otkin6,7, Christopher Hain8, Elizabeth M. Rehbein9, and Joel McCorkel10 Anam M. Khan et al.
  • 1Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI, USA
  • 2Department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI, USA
  • 3Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI, USA
  • 4Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA
  • 5USDA ARS, Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Beltsville, MD, USA
  • 6Space Sciences and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI, USA
  • 7Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI, USA
  • 8Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Earth Science Branch, Huntsville, AL, USA
  • 9Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA
  • 10NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 20771, USA

Abstract. Environmental science is increasingly reliant on remotely-sensed observations of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. Observations from polar-orbiting satellites have long supported investigations on land cover change, ecosystem productivity, hydrology, climate, the impacts of disturbance, and more, and are critical for extrapolating (upscaling) ground-based measurements to larger areas. However, the limited temporal frequency at which polar-orbiting satellites observe the Earth limits our understanding of rapidly evolving ecosystem processes, especially in areas with frequent cloud cover. Geostationary satellites have observed the Earth's surface and atmosphere at high temporal frequency for decades, and their imagers now have spectral resolutions in the visible and near-infrared regions that are comparable to commonly-used polar-orbiting sensors like the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), or Landsat. These advances extend applications of geostationary Earth observations from weather monitoring to multiple disciplines in ecology and environmental science. We review a number of existing applications that use data from geostationary platforms and present upcoming opportunities for observing key ecosystem properties using high-frequency observations from the Advanced Baseline Imagers (ABI) on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), which routinely observe the Western Hemisphere every 5–15 minutes. Many of the existing applications in environmental science from ABI are focused on estimating land surface temperature, solar radiation, evapotranspiration, and biomass burning emissions along with detecting rapid drought development and wildfire. Ongoing work in estimating vegetation properties and phenology from other geostationary platforms demonstrates the potential for expanding ABI observations to estimate vegetation greenness, moisture, and productivity at high temporal frequency across the Western Hemisphere. Finally, we present emerging opportunities to address the relatively coarse resolution of ABI observations through multi-sensor fusion to resolve landscape heterogeneity and to leverage observations from ABI to study the carbon cycle and ecosystem function at unprecedented temporal frequency.

Anam M. Khan et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2020-454', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Feb 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Anam Khan, 13 Mar 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2020-454', Anonymous Referee #2, 16 Feb 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Anam Khan, 13 Mar 2021

Anam M. Khan et al.

Anam M. Khan et al.

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Short summary
Remote sensing has played an important role in studying land surface processes. Geostationary satellites such as the GOES-R series can observe the earth every 5–15 minutes providing us with more observations than widely used polar orbiting satellites. Here, we outline current efforts utilizing geostationary observations in environmental science and look towards the future of GOES observations in the carbon cycle, ecosystem disturbance, and other areas of application in environmental science.
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