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2 Suitability of the Large Platform for Earth System Explorers
Pages 16-27

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From page 16...
... These gaps include (1) increased global spatial density of column-averaged dry air mole fractions of CO2 and CH4 (particularly CO2 soundings which remain relatively sparse globally)
From page 17...
... ICE ELEVATION The ESAS 2017 decadal survey lists "Ice Elevation" as a candidate for selection in the Earth System Explorer line for "global ice characterization including elevation change of land ice to assess sea level contributions and freeboard height of sea ice to assess sea ice/ocean/atmosphere interaction." The survey report states that, "Land ice and sea ice are both important components of the cryosphere that play different roles in Earth's climate system; a fundamental parameter that should be monitored for both of them is surface elevation." Measuring land-ice surface elevation and sea-ice freeboard height by satellite or radar laser altimeter along repeated ground tracks provides an estimate of the volume change of land ice and sea ice over time. Space-based measurements of ice surface elevation would include a polar-orbiting satellite (to 88°)
From page 18...
... , this would lead to more fuel for orbit maintenance and would lead to smaller swaths for optical instruments. OCEAN SURFACE WINDS AND CURRENTS The ESAS 2017 decadal survey identified the need for coincident high-accuracy measurements of ocean currents and vector winds to assess air-sea momentum exchange and to infer upwelling, upper ocean mixing, and sea-ice drift.
From page 19...
... 6 OZONE AND TRACE GASES The ESAS 2017 decadal survey identified a candidate Earth System Explorer that would address the need for vertical profiles, globally and with high spatial resolution, of ozone and trace gases including water vapor, CO, NO2, CH4, and N2O, chemical species that have important implications for human health, air quality, and climate. For example, characterizing the relationships between these different species and ozone in different regions of the stratosphere will provide important information for understanding the factors controlling ozone concentrations.
From page 20...
... The summary below is derived from data in the decadal survey report with additional information provided by the committee along with its assessment of the suitability of the large platform. • Observational approach: Snow depth may be inferred from lidar measurements (snow-on minus snow-off)
From page 21...
... • Spatial resolution: In mountain watersheds where snowmelt runoff is critical, measurements of snow depth and changes in snow water equivalent at high spatial scales may be required to capture the spatial variability in forested landscapes, including forest gap sizes (most frequent, 10–100 m2) 20 and complex topography.
From page 22...
... 24 Although the spatial resolution of SAR is on the order of meters, processing is necessary to eliminate noise including spatial averaging, and thus useful resolution is 30 m and above. 25 While radar saturation is a problem with wet snow, it may be used to detect melt onset and snow wetness state, which would be valuable, especially if used with snowpack evolution models since the improved estimates of SWE at the end of the accumulation season determine water availability in the warm season with implications for water resources, food production, enhancing or inhibiting extreme events from persistent floods to droughts and widespread wildfires at high latitudes.
From page 23...
... Implementation of this Targeted Observable would provide 3D wind profiles in the troposphere/Planetary Boundary Layer, a very high priority identified in ESAS 2017, 27 as well as the inaugural ESAS decadal survey published in 2007. In recommending the Winds mission, ESAS 2017 noted its potential to improve prediction of high-impact natural hazards such as severe air pollution outbreaks and tropical and winter storms.
From page 24...
... The ESAS 2017 decadal survey report also noted that trade studies might be needed to design the most cost-effective strategy for wind measurements. • Measurement objectives: 3D winds in troposphere/PBL for transport of pollutants/carbon/aerosol and water vapor, wind energy, cloud dynamics and convection, and large-scale circulation.
From page 25...
... • Passive microwave radiometry for ocean surface vector winds: The COWVR (Compact Ocean Wind Vector Radiometer) follows the Coriolis/WindSat heritage.
From page 26...
... : Targeted Observable Potential Uses Greenhouse Gases Quantifying and trending CO2 and CH4 fluxes at global to regional scale could be achieved with wide-swath, passive infrared spectrometers on a single SSO platform with midday crossing time, 14-day revisit. Ice Elevation Possible use in the development and space testing of a multibeam lidar (>100 beams)
From page 27...
... . NOTE: GEO, geostationary Earth orbit; HIRDLS, High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder; ICESat-2, Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite; LEO, low Earth orbit; MODIS, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer; SAR, Synthetic Aperture Radar; SSO, Sun-synchronous orbit; SWE, snow water equivalent; SWOT, Surface Water and Ocean Topography.


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