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Subject: Fall AGU Special Session

Abstract deadline is Sept 8 at ********************************************************** OS03: Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry: Discoveries From Space Description: The launch of the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) on NASA's Nimbus-7 satellite in 1978 initiated a new era for ocean biology and biogeochemistry. This proof-of-concept mission showed that satellite ocean color measurements, i.e. the spectra of sunlight backscattered out of the ocean, could be used to calculate globally the concentration of phytoplankton chlorophyll concentration, as well as other ocean water constituents of biological and biogeochemical significance. By the mid-1980s, CZCS images were providing the first synoptic ocean basin and global ocean scale measurements directly related to biogeochemical and biological processes. Time series of chlorophyll images from CZCS and subsequent follow-on sensors such as NASA's Ocean Color and Temperature Sensor (OCTS) and the Orbimage/NASA SeaWiFS were used to calculate the mean and variability of basin- to global-scale primary production; to quantify the impacts of ENSO and other climate signals on ocean phytoplankton biomass and productivity; to determine seasonal cycles of phytoplankton biomass on regional to global scales; to provide new quantitative insights into the relations between biological and circulation/mixing processes on daily to seasonal timescales; and to improve calculations of upper ocean heat budgets owing to phytoplankton absorption of solar irradiance. Numerical modelers of regional to basin scale ocean processes use the images to initialize simulations, to validate some of the output fields, and for direct assimilation into coupled physical/biogeochemical/biological models. New applications are emerging based on inversions of the water-leaving radiance spectra coupled with new models of the inherent optical properties of ocean waters. Invited presentations will highlight the breakthroughs made possible by the space view of the ocean and by combining satellite imagery with in situ observations for a time-varying, 3-D description of ocean processes. Contributed presentations of recent and ongoing work will highlight new developments, including results obtained by incorporating satellite products into operational ocean observing systems.
James A Yoder
University of Rhode Island
Graduate School of Oceanography
Narragansett, RI, USA 02882

David Siegel
University of California, Santa Barbara
Geography Department
Santa Barbara, CA, USA 93106-4060

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