The fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR) is an essential climate variable (ECV) widely used for various ecological and climate models. However, all the current FAPAR satellite products correspond to instantaneous FAPAR values acquired at the satellite transit time only, which cannot represent the variations in photosynthetic processes over the diurnal period. Most studies have directly used the instantaneous FAPAR as a reasonable approximation of the daily integrated value. However, clearly, FAPAR varies a lot according to the weather conditions and amount of incoming radiation. In this paper, a temporal upscaling method based on the cosine of the solar zenith angle (SZA) at local noon (
) is proposed for converting instantaneous FAPAR to daily integrated FAPAR. First, the diurnal variations in FAPAR were investigated using PROSAIL (a model of Leaf Optical Properties Spectra (PROSPECT) integrating a canopy radiative transfer model (Scattering from Arbitrarily Inclined Leaves, SAIL)) simulations with different leaf area index (LAI) values corresponding to different latitudes. It was found that the instantaneous black sky FAPAR at 09:30 AM provided a good approximation for the daily integrated black sky FAPAR; this gave the highest correlation (R2
= 0.995) and lowest Root Mean Square Error (RMSE = 0.013) among the instantaneous black sky FAPAR values observed at different times. Secondly, the difference between the instantaneous black sky FAPAR values acquired at different times and the daily integrated black sky FAPAR was analyzed; this could be accurately modelled using the cosine value of solar zenith angle at local noon (
) for a given vegetation scene. Therefore, a temporal upscaling method for typical satellite products was proposed using a cos(SZA)-based upscaling model. Finally, the proposed cos(SZA)-based upscaling model was validated using both the PROSAIL simulated data and the field measurements. The validated results indicated that the upscaled daily black sky FAPAR was highly consistent with the daily integrated black sky FAPAR, giving very high mean R2
values (0.998, 0.972), low RMSEs (0.007, 0.014), and low rMAEs (0.596%, 1.378%) for the simulations and the field measurements, respectively. Consequently, the cos(SZA)-based method performs well for upscaling the instantaneous black sky FAPAR to its daily value, which is a simple but extremely important approach for satellite remote sensing applications related to FAPAR.
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