In 2018 technologies on the International Space Station will provide ∼1 year of synchronous observations of ecosystem composition, structure and function. We discuss these instruments and how they can be used to constrain global models and improve our understanding of the current state of terrestrial ecosystems.
Many of these ideas were born and developed at the workshop on Exploring New Multi-Instrument Approaches to Observing Terrestrial Ecosystems and the Carbon Cycle from Space that occurred 5–9 October 2015 and was funded by the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS), organized by Michelle Judd, and hosted at the institute facility at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Additionally, the ideas in this article would not have been possible without the contributions of each participant. The majority of the work was internally funded and carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Also, S.S. was supported during the writing of this manuscript by the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) in the Tropics, which is supported by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research in the Department of Energy, Office of Science, and through the United States Department of Energy (grant no. DE-SC0012704) to Brookhaven National Laboratory. R.D. is funded by NASA Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation Mission (grant no. NNL15AA03C). P.W. acknowledges support from the NASA Carbon Cycle Science programme (grant no. NNX14AI60G). J.F. is funded by the NASA ECOSTRESS project. A.S. was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through the Dimensions of Biodiversity programme (DEB-1342872).