Global night-time lights for observing human activity

S. Hipskind, C. Elvidge, Kevin Gurney, M. Imhoff, L. Bounoua, E. Sheffner, R. Nemani, D. Pettit, M. Fischer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a concept for a small satellite mission to make systematic, global observations of night-time lights with spatial resolution suitable for discerning the extent, type and density of human settlements. The observations will also allow better understanding of fine scale fossil fuel CO2 emission distribution. The NASA Earth Science Decadal Survey recommends more focus on direct observations of human influence on the Earth system. The most dramatic and compelling observations of human presence on the Earth are the night light observations taken by the Defence Meteorological System Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). Beyond delineating the footprint of human presence, night light data, when assembled and evaluated with complementary data sets, can determine the fine scale spatial distribution of global fossil fuel CO2 emissions. Understanding fossil fuel carbon emissions is critical to understanding the entire carbon cycle, and especially the carbon exchange between terrestrial and oceanic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication34th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment - The GEOSS Era: Towards Operational Environmental Monitoring
StatePublished - 2011
Event34th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment - The GEOSS Era: Towards Operational Environmental Monitoring - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: Apr 10 2011Apr 15 2011

Other

Other34th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment - The GEOSS Era: Towards Operational Environmental Monitoring
CountryAustralia
CitySydney, NSW
Period4/10/114/15/11

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Keywords

  • CO emissions
  • Human settlement
  • Smallsat
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Environmental Engineering

Cite this

Hipskind, S., Elvidge, C., Gurney, K., Imhoff, M., Bounoua, L., Sheffner, E., Nemani, R., Pettit, D., & Fischer, M. (2011). Global night-time lights for observing human activity. In 34th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment - The GEOSS Era: Towards Operational Environmental Monitoring