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Ralph A. Kahn, Andrew M. Sayer, Ziauddin Ahmad, and Bryan A. Franz


As atmospheric reflectance dominates top-of-the-atmosphere radiance over ocean, atmospheric correction is a critical component of ocean color retrievals. This paper explores the operational Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) algorithm atmospheric correction with ~13 000 coincident surface-based aerosol measurements. Aerosol optical depth at 440 nm (AOD440) is overestimated for AOD below ~0.1–0.15 and is increasingly underestimated at higher AOD; also, single-scattering albedo (SSA) appears overestimated when the actual value <~0.96. AOD440 and its spectral slope tend to be overestimated preferentially for coarse-mode particles. Sensitivity analysis shows that changes in these factors lead to systematic differences in derived ocean water-leaving reflectance (R rs) at 440 nm. The standard SeaWiFS algorithm compensates for AOD anomalies in the presence of nonabsorbing, medium-size-dominated aerosols. However, at low AOD and with absorbing aerosols, in situ observations and previous case studies demonstrate that retrieved R rs is sensitive to spectral AOD and possibly also SSA anomalies. Stratifying the dataset by aerosol-type proxies shows the dependence of the AOD anomaly and resulting R rs patterns on aerosol type, though the correlation with the SSA anomaly is too subtle to be quantified with these data. Retrieved chlorophyll-a concentrations (Chl) are affected in a complex way by R rs differences, and these effects occur preferentially at high and low Chl values. Absorbing aerosol effects are likely to be most important over biologically productive waters near coasts and along major aerosol transport pathways. These results suggest that future ocean color spacecraft missions aiming to cover the range of naturally occurring and anthropogenic aerosols, especially at wavelengths shorter than 440 nm, will require better aerosol amount and type constraints.

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P. Jeremy Werdell, Michael J. Behrenfeld, Paula S. Bontempi, Emmanuel Boss, Brian Cairns, Gary T. Davis, Bryan A. Franz, Ulrik B. Gliese, Eric T. Gorman, Otto Hasekamp, Kirk D. Knobelspiesse, Antonio Mannino, J. Vanderlei Martins, Charles R. McClain, Gerhard Meister, and Lorraine A. Remer


The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission represents the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) next investment in satellite ocean color and the study of Earth’s ocean–atmosphere system, enabling new insights into oceanographic and atmospheric responses to Earth’s changing climate. PACE objectives include extending systematic cloud, aerosol, and ocean biological and biogeochemical data records, making essential ocean color measurements to further understand marine carbon cycles, food-web processes, and ecosystem responses to a changing climate, and improving knowledge of how aerosols influence ocean ecosystems and, conversely, how ocean ecosystems and photochemical processes affect the atmosphere. PACE objectives also encompass management of fisheries, large freshwater bodies, and air and water quality and reducing uncertainties in climate and radiative forcing models of the Earth system. PACE observations will provide information on radiative properties of land surfaces and characterization of the vegetation and soils that dominate their reflectance. The primary PACE instrument is a spectrometer that spans the ultraviolet to shortwave-infrared wavelengths, with a ground sample distance of 1 km at nadir. This payload is complemented by two multiangle polarimeters with spectral ranges that span the visible to near-infrared region. Scheduled for launch in late 2022 to early 2023, the PACE observatory will enable significant advances in the study of Earth’s biogeochemistry, carbon cycle, clouds, hydrosols, and aerosols in the ocean–atmosphere–land system. Here, we present an overview of the PACE mission, including its developmental history, science objectives, instrument payload, observatory characteristics, and data products.

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Molly Baringer, Mariana B. Bif, Tim Boyer, Seth M. Bushinsky, Brendan R. Carter, Ivona Cetinić, Don P. Chambers, Lijing Cheng, Sanai Chiba, Minhan Dai, Catia M. Domingues, Shenfu Dong, Andrea J. Fassbender, Richard A. Feely, Eleanor Frajka-Williams, Bryan A. Franz, John Gilson, Gustavo Goni, Benjamin D. Hamlington, Zeng-Zhen Hu, Boyin Huang, Masayoshi Ishii, Svetlana Jevrejeva, William E. Johns, Gregory C. Johnson, Kenneth S. Johnson, John Kennedy, Marion Kersalé, Rachel E. Killick, Peter Landschützer, Matthias Lankhorst, Tong Lee, Eric Leuliette, Feili Li, Eric Lindstrom, Ricardo Locarnini, Susan Lozier, John M. Lyman, John J. Marra, Christopher S. Meinen, Mark A. Merrifield, Gary T. Mitchum, Ben Moat, Didier Monselesan, R. Steven Nerem, Renellys C. Perez, Sarah G. Purkey, Darren Rayner, James Reagan, Nicholas Rome, Alejandra Sanchez-Franks, Claudia Schmid, Joel P. Scott, Uwe Send, David A. Siegel, David A. Smeed, Sabrina Speich, Paul W. Stackhouse Jr., William Sweet, Yuichiro Takeshita, Philip R. Thompson, Joaquin A. Triñanes, Martin Visbeck, Denis L. Volkov, Rik Wanninkhof, Robert A. Weller, Toby K. Westberry, Matthew J. Widlansky, Susan E. Wijffels, Anne C. Wilber, Lisan Yu, Weidong Yu, and Huai-Min Zhang
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