Terrestrial photosynthesis is the fundamental process coupling between global cycles of energy, carbon, and water. Photosynthesis is driven by incoming radiation and water availability, modulates atmospheric carbon and in turn releases water vapor that can drive cloud distributions and rainfall. But the most productive region on Earth, the tropical biosphere, remains a critical blind spot in our attempts to understand photosynthesis. Even groundbreaking satellite observations of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) are largely obscured by the persistence of tropical clouds. What lies beneath these clouds is the central enigma of the carbon cycle.
The KISS workshop will be used to articulate a vision for coupled analysis of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) retrievals with satellite-based SIF and CO2 data, providing a new window into the carbon cycle and a revolution in our understanding of carbon-climate feedbacks and crop monitoring. Key workshop goals will be to move beyond the disparate analyses of OCS, SIF, and CO2, and create a platform for a common language, basic understanding of opportunities and uncertainties, shared data sets, and roadmap for an integrated space-based OCS-SIF-CO2 mission to address critical outstanding science questions answerable through the intersection of such measurements.