EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Satellite-based remote sensing of carbon dioxide over snow-covered surfaces

Antti Mikkonen1, Hannakaisa Lindqvist1, Jouni Peltoniemi2, and Johanna Tamminen1
Antti Mikkonen et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Global coverage of carbon dioxide (CO2) satellite observations is necessary for accurate seasonal carbon flux estimates. Sufficient seasonal coverage is particularly important for quantifying the carbon cycle at high Northern latitudes which are sensitive to the rapidly changing climate. However, high latitudes pose significant challenges to reliable space-based observations of greenhouse gases. One reason for the shortage of good quality CO2 observations in the high latitudes is the low reflectivity of snow-covered surfaces in the CO2 absorption bands, in addition to large solar zenith angles and frequent cloud coverage over the Arctic and boreal regions. Snow surfaces are highly forward-scattering and therefore the traditional nadir-viewing geometries over land might not be optimal. In addition, the contributions from the 1.6 um and 2.0 um CO2 absorption bands need to be evaluated over snow. In this work, we present a realistic, non-Lambertian surface reflection model of snow based on snow reflectance measurements and examine results of atmospheric radiative transfer simulations in various satellite observation geometries and the contributions from different absorption bands. This research lays important ground work for a dedicated feasibility study of CO2 retrievals over snow, which would ultimately help increase the quantity and reliability of satellite observations at high latitudes from late winter to spring – an important period for the carbon cycle in the rapidly changing Arctic climate.

How to cite: Mikkonen, A., Lindqvist, H., Peltoniemi, J., and Tamminen, J.: Satellite-based remote sensing of carbon dioxide over snow-covered surfaces, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8207,, 2021.

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