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You are here: GES DISC Home Education and Outreach Additional Features Science Focus Ocean Color from Space - CZCS OCEAN COLOR FROM SPACE: Future Ocean-Color Missions

OCEAN COLOR FROM SPACE: Future Ocean-Color Missions

Because of the key role of ocean productivity in global change, it is imperative that we resume systematic measurements of ocean color from space as soon as possible and to continue them without future interruption.In combination with large-scale international programs such as the Joint Global Ocean FLux Study, the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Programme (TOGA), and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), these observations will greatly advance our knowledge of biological oceanography, global biogeochemical cycles, and the Earth's climate in the years ahead.

Potential sources for these new observations include three ocean color scanners scheduled for flight within the next decade.NASA in conjunction with private industry, is planning the first United States successor to the CZCS: the Sea-Viewing Wide Field Sensor (SeaWiFS) for launch later this year.The Japanese have scheduled an Ocean Color and Temperature Sensor (OCTS) for their Advanced Earth Observing Satellite (ADEOS) to be launched in 1996.NASA is planning a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) and a High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (HIRIS) for the first Polar Orbiting Platform of the Earth Observing System (EOS), proposed for launch in the late 1990s.

A high priority for these future missions is the rapid distribution of data to the oceanographic community in a form which will permit ready integration of the satellite data into both field and modelling efforts.The effective use of the resulting global chlorophyll fields will depend on their accessibility, not just to remote-sensing experts, but also to more traditional oceanographers and Earth scientists.One can look forward to the day when observations of ocean color from space are as much a part of the oceanographer's toolbox as the CTD, Secchi disk, and daily weather maps in addressing the outstanding problems in the ocean sciences.

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Last updated: May 08, 2012 02:06 PM ET