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Abstract/ Summary

Ocean color, first measured from space 30 years ago, has provided a revolutionary synoptic view of near-surface fields of phytoplankton pigments. Since 1979, a number of ocean color satellite missions have provided coverage of phytoplankton biomass and other biogeochemical variables on scales of days to years and of kilometers to ocean basin. Because of the nature of visible light and its interaction with absorbing and scattering materials in the ocean and atmosphere, these measurements are biased toward nearsurface waters and are obscured by clouds. As a consequence, ocean color satellites miss significant fractions of phytoplankton biomass, marine primary productivity, and particle flux that occur at depths beyond their sensing range. They also miss phytoplankton blooms and other events that occur during periods of extended cloud cover.

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Boss, E., Perry, M. J., Swift, D., Taylor, L., Brickley, P., Zaneveld, J. R. V., & Riser, S. (2008). Three Years of Ocean Data From a Bio-optical Profiling Float. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 89(23), 209–210.

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© 2008. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.




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