Satellite-based measurements of CO2 for carbon flux estimation

Thomas A. Russell, William Sharp, Berrien Moore, Peter Rayner, Inez Fung, Donald Wuebbles, Ned Zimmer, Todd Summers, Katherine Chambers, Michael Dobbs, Chris Lietzke, Jeramiah Zimmerman, Mark Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Satellite observations of atmospheric CO2 are the key to answering important questions regarding spatial and temporal variabilities of carbon sources and sinks. Global measurements sampling the air above land and oceans allow oceanic flux to be distinguished from terrestrial flux. Continuous sampling on frequent basis allows seasonal variations to be distinguished. This study quantifies the potential value of satellite-based measurements of column-integrated CO2 concentrations in terms of the carbon source/sink information that can be derived from these concentrations via inverse modeling. We discuss the utility of the carbon flux inversions in terms of both spatial and temporal resolution, compare capabilities of active and passive approaches to the measurements, and demonstrate the feasibility of high precision CO2 column concentration retrievals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-246
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2002


  • Carbon cycle
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Flux inversions
  • Retrieval
  • Satellite remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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