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Frontiers in Earth Science




The research frontiers of radiative transfer (RT) in coupled atmosphere-ocean systems are explored to enable new science and specifically to support the upcoming Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite mission. Given (i) the multitude of atmospheric and oceanic constituents at any given moment that each exhibits a large variety of physical and chemical properties and (ii) the diversity of light-matter interactions (scattering, absorption, and emission), tackling all outstanding RT aspects related to interpreting and/or simulating light reflected by atmosphere-ocean systems becomes impossible. Instead, we focus on both theoretical and experimental studies of RT topics important to the science threshold and goal questions of the PACE mission and the measurement capabilities of its instruments. We differentiate between (a) forward (FWD) RT studies that focus mainly on sensitivity to influencing variables and/or simulating data sets, and (b) inverse (INV) RT studies that also involve the retrieval of atmosphere and ocean parameters. Our topics cover (1) the ocean (i.e., water body): absorption and elastic/inelastic scattering by pure water (FWD RT) and models for scattering and absorption by particulates (FWD RT and INV RT); (2) the air-water interface: variations in ocean surface refractive index (INV RT) and in whitecap reflectance (INV RT); (3) the atmosphere: polarimetric and/or hyperspectral remote sensing of aerosols (INV RT) and of gases (FWD RT); and (4) atmosphere-ocean systems: benchmark comparisons, impact of the Earth’s sphericity and adjacency effects on space-borne observations, and scattering in the ultraviolet regime (FWD RT). We provide for each topic a summary of past relevant (heritage) work, followed by a discussion (for unresolved questions) and RT updates.





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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.