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GEO-CAPE Science

The GEO-CAPE mission satisfies science objectives for studies of both coastal ocean
biophysics and atmospheric composition associated with air quality and short-lived climate forcers.
It will also enable revolutionary interdisciplinary ocean/atmosphere science.

Atmosphere Science: Air quality measurements are urgently needed to understand the complex consequences of increasing
anthropogenic pollutant emissions both regionally and globally

Ocean Science: Both short-term and long-term forecasts of the coastal ocean require better understanding of critical processes and sustained observing systems.

Interdisciplinary Science: The interconnections between the atmosphere and coastal waters are complex,
involving nutrient delivery and bioavailability; deposition and biogeochemical cycling of toxic compounds, trace metals,
and persistent organic pollutants; and air-sea trace gas exchange with coastal waters functioning both as sources and sinks.

Applications: GEO-CAPE also has important direct societal application in each domain.

Why Geostationary?
Geostationary orbit provides a continuous view of the part of the Earth that is below the satellite,
enabling measurements many times per day to capture the diurnal evolution of tropospheric chemistry and the coastal oceans.
A constellation of geostationary satellites positioned appropriately around the globe can provide quasi-global coverage,
and thus similar geostationary missions planned by Europe and Asia present the opportunity to greatly enhance GEO-CAPE
science through international partnerships.

  • Korea has placed the first geostationary Ocean Color mission in orbit, GOCI,
    with a planned operational follow-on; Europe is proposing geostationary Ocean Color missions.
  • A European geostationary air quality mission is in Phase B and on track for a 2018 launch.
    Similar Asian air quality missions are expected to be in orbit before the end of this decade.
  • GEO-CAPE as part of a global constellation will expand the value of each mission from regional to global,
    to address the globalization of air pollution and how local and regional emissions impact
    ozone and aerosol fluxes on local to global scales.


3 globe image of aerosol  and global distribution of pollution

Interdisciplinary Science

The interconnections between the atmosphere and coastal waters are complex, involving nutrient delivery and bioavailability;
deposition and biogeochemical cycling of toxic compounds, trace metals, and persistent organic pollutants; and air-sea
trace gas exchange with coastal waters functioning both as sources and sinks.
There is high potential from combined GEO-CAPE observations of trace gases (e.g., HCHO, CHOCHO, SO2, etc.),
aerosol and ocean color in quantifying and understanding ocean-atmosphere exchange and biogeochemical cycling.
Marine ecosystems may play an important role in urban air quality by providing halogen radicals that influence
O3 production and the oxidative capacity of the boundary layer along coastal margins
(e.g., Knipping and Dabdub, 2003; Tanaka et al., 2003; Pszenny et al., 2007).
By leveraging the measurements made for the primary air quality and ocean color scientific goals of GEO-CAPE
, this mission is poised to make a unique contribution to interdisciplinary research on a variety of spatial
and temporal scales. GEO-CAPE is anticipated to provide a valuable resource to our international partners in
advancing the objectives of the international Surface Ocean – Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) [Liss et al., 2004].


We can also put here the list of major IDS science questions that could be addressed
through GEOCAPE (the IDS working group is currently working on this) …

Related Field Studies

Satellite and Other Resources

Surface Ocean – Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS): http://www.solas-int.org/

NASA EOS Interdisciplinary Science Investigations: http://eospso.gsfc.nasa.gov/…

NASA JPL Air Sea Interaction & Climate: http://coastal.jpl.nasa.gov/

PACE and ACE Decadal Survey missions (Aerosols, Clouds, and Ecosystems)

NASA Science Missions: http://science.nasa.gov/missions/

NASA Decadal Survey Missions: http://dsm.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.html