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REMOTE SENSING: Primary Production and Carbon Fluxes

Professor Ragu Murtugudde is leading research efforts on these subjects. The Wide Field of view Sensor (SeaWiFS) which was launched during August 1997 has been providing unprecedented high quality data of surface ocean color. Several ocean color missions are now operational or planned by the United States and other countries such as India and Japan. Dr. Ragu Murtugudde is working on the use of satellite data for understanding physical-biological interactions and bio-climate feedbacks, quantifying the role of biological pump in marine carbon cycle, application for climate monitoring and human health, diagnosing the coupled climate variability, and assimilation of satellite data for climate variability and prediction. Satellite data of ocean color have several applications such as its linkage to fisheries with a potential for forecasting fish locations. More importantly, global primary productions can be estimated for the first time from biomass inferred from SeaWiFS and other remotely sensed ocean color data. Research includes attempts to estimate surface CO2 fluxes and their variability on seasonal-to-interannual time-scales. The overall goal is to determine the contribution of the marine ecosystem to the global carbon budget. Other satellite data such as precipitation from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and winds from QuickScat are used extensively in this study.