The year 2023 marked the tenth anniversary of the first published description of global ocean plankton stocks based on measurements from a satellite lidar. Diverse studies have since been conducted to further refine and validate the lidar retrievals and use them to discover new characteristics of plankton seasonal dynamics and marine animal migrations, as well as evaluate geophysical products from traditional passive ocean color sensors. Surprisingly, all of these developments have been achieved with lidar instruments not designed for ocean applications. Over this same decade, we have witnessed unprecedented changes in ocean ecosystems at unexpected rates and driven by a multitude of environmental stressors, with a dominant factor being climate warming. Understanding, predicting, and responding to these ecosystem changes requires a global ocean observing network linking satellite, in situ, and modeling approaches. Inspired by recent successes, we promote here the creation of a lidar global ocean climate record as a key element in this envisioned advanced observing system. Contributing to this record, we announce the development of a new satellite lidar mission with ocean-observing capabilities and then discuss additional technological advances that can be envisioned for subsequent missions. Finally, we discuss how a potential near-term gap in global ocean lidar data might, at least partially, be filled using on-orbit or soon-to-be-launched lidars designed for other disciplinary purposes, and we identify upcoming needs for in situ support systems and science community development.

Satellite Lidar Measurements as a Critical New Global Ocean Climate Record

Di Girolamo, Paolo
Conceptualization
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The year 2023 marked the tenth anniversary of the first published description of global ocean plankton stocks based on measurements from a satellite lidar. Diverse studies have since been conducted to further refine and validate the lidar retrievals and use them to discover new characteristics of plankton seasonal dynamics and marine animal migrations, as well as evaluate geophysical products from traditional passive ocean color sensors. Surprisingly, all of these developments have been achieved with lidar instruments not designed for ocean applications. Over this same decade, we have witnessed unprecedented changes in ocean ecosystems at unexpected rates and driven by a multitude of environmental stressors, with a dominant factor being climate warming. Understanding, predicting, and responding to these ecosystem changes requires a global ocean observing network linking satellite, in situ, and modeling approaches. Inspired by recent successes, we promote here the creation of a lidar global ocean climate record as a key element in this envisioned advanced observing system. Contributing to this record, we announce the development of a new satellite lidar mission with ocean-observing capabilities and then discuss additional technological advances that can be envisioned for subsequent missions. Finally, we discuss how a potential near-term gap in global ocean lidar data might, at least partially, be filled using on-orbit or soon-to-be-launched lidars designed for other disciplinary purposes, and we identify upcoming needs for in situ support systems and science community development.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/173936
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