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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020254

EPIC Spectral Observations of Variability in Earth’s Global Reflectance

1
Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, MD 21046, USA
2
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
3
Joint Center for Earth System Technology, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA
4
Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiative Transfer Modelling and Applications in Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) onboard NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite observes the entire sunlit Earth every 65 to 110 min from the Sun–Earth Lagrangian L1 point. This paper presents initial EPIC shortwave spectral observations of the sunlit Earth reflectance and analyses of its diurnal and seasonal variations. The results show that the reflectance depends mostly on (1) the ratio between land and ocean areas exposed to the Sun and (2) cloud spatial and temporal distributions over the sunlit side of Earth. In particular, the paper shows that (a) diurnal variations of the Earth’s reflectance are determined mostly by periodic changes in the land–ocean fraction of its the sunlit side; (b) the daily reflectance displays clear seasonal variations that are significant even without including the contributions from snow and ice in the polar regions (which can enhance daily mean reflectances by up to 2 to 6% in winter and up to 1 to 4% in summer); (c) the seasonal variations of the sunlit Earth reflectance are mostly determined by the latitudinal distribution of oceanic clouds. View Full-Text
Keywords: The Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC); sunlit part of the Earth; spectral reflectance; land and ocean; clouds The Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC); sunlit part of the Earth; spectral reflectance; land and ocean; clouds
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Yang, W.; Marshak, A.; Várnai, T.; Knyazikhin, Y. EPIC Spectral Observations of Variability in Earth’s Global Reflectance. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 254.

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