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Open AccessArticle

A Data-Driven Assessment of Biosphere-Atmosphere Interaction Impact on Seasonal Cycle Patterns of XCO2 Using GOSAT and MODIS Observations

by Zhonghua He 1,2, Zhao-Cheng Zeng 1,3,*, Liping Lei 1,*, Nian Bie 1,2 and Shaoyuan Yang 1,2
Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yoshio Inoue, Richard Müller and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(3), 251;
Received: 20 October 2016 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
Using measurements of the column-averaged CO2 dry air mole fraction (XCO2) from GOSAT and biosphere parameters, including normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), enhanced vegetation index (EVI), leaf area index (LAI), gross primary production (GPP), and land surface temperature (LST) from MODIS, this study proposes a data-driven approach to assess the impacts of terrestrial biosphere activities on the seasonal cycle pattern of XCO2. A unique global land mapping dataset of XCO2 with a resolution of 1° by 1° in space, and three days in time, from June 2009 to May 2014, which facilitates the assessment at a fine scale, is first produced from GOSAT XCO2 retrievals. We then conduct a statistical fitting method to obtain the global map of seasonal cycle amplitudes (SCA) of XCO2 and NDVI, and implement correlation analyses of seasonal variation between XCO2 and the vegetation parameters. As a result, the spatial distribution of XCO2 SCA decreases globally with latitude from north to south, which is in good agreement with that of simulated XCO2 from CarbonTracker. The spatial pattern of XCO2 SCA corresponds well to the vegetation seasonal activity revealed by NDVI, with a strong correlation coefficient of 0.74 in the northern hemisphere (NH). Some hotspots in the subtropical areas, including Northern India (with SCA of 8.68 ± 0.49 ppm on average) and Central Africa (with SCA of 8.33 ± 0.25 ppm on average), shown by satellite measurements, but missed by model simulations, demonstrate the advantage of satellites in observing the biosphere–atmosphere interactions at local scales. Results from correlation analyses between XCO2 and NDVI, EVI, LAI, or GPP show a consistent spatial distribution, and NDVI and EVI have stronger negative correlations over all latitudes. This may suggest that NDVI and EVI can be better vegetation parameters in characterizing the seasonal variations of XCO2 and its driving terrestrial biosphere activities. We, furthermore, present the global distribution of phase lags of XCO2 compared to NDVI in seasonal variation, which, to our knowledge, is the first such map derived from a completely data-driven approach using satellite observations. The impact of retrieval error of GOSAT data on the mapping data, especially over high-latitude areas, is further discussed. Results from this study provide reference for better understanding the distribution of the strength of carbon sink by terrestrial ecosystems and utilizing remote sensing data in assessing the impact of biosphere–atmosphere interactions on the seasonal cycle pattern of atmospheric CO2 columns. View Full-Text
Keywords: GOSAT; MODIS; XCO2; seasonal cycle pattern; biosphere absorption GOSAT; MODIS; XCO2; seasonal cycle pattern; biosphere absorption
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MDPI and ACS Style

He, Z.; Zeng, Z.-C.; Lei, L.; Bie, N.; Yang, S. A Data-Driven Assessment of Biosphere-Atmosphere Interaction Impact on Seasonal Cycle Patterns of XCO2 Using GOSAT and MODIS Observations. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 251.

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