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Observed differences between near-surface air and skin temperatures using satellite and ground-based data

Prakash, Satya and Shati, Farjana and Norouzi, Hamid and Blake, Reginald (2019) Observed differences between near-surface air and skin temperatures using satellite and ground-based data. In: THEORETICAL AND APPLIED CLIMATOLOGY, 137 (1-2). pp. 587-600.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00704-018-2623-1


Accurate estimates of long-term land surface temperature (T-s) and near-surface air temperature (T-a) at finer spatio-temporal resolutions are crucial for surface energy budget studies, for environmental applications, for land surface model data assimilation, and for climate change assessment and its associated impacts. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors onboard the Aqua satellite provide a unique opportunity to estimate both temperatures twice daily at the global scale. In this study, differences between T-a and T-s were assessed locally over regions of North America from 2009 to 2013 using ground-based observations covering a wide range of geographical, topographical, and land cover types. The differences between T-a and T-s during non-precipitating conditions are generally 2-3 times larger than precipitating conditions. However, these differences show noticeable diurnal and seasonal variations. The differences between T-a and T-s were also investigated at the global scale using the AIRS estimates under clear-sky conditions for the period 2003-2015. The tropical regions showed about 5-20 degrees C warmer T-s than T-a during the day-time, whereas opposite characteristics (about 2-5 degrees C cooler T-s than T-a) are found over most parts of the globe during the night-time. Additionally, T-s estimates from the AIRS and the MODIS sensors were inter-compared. Although large-scale features of T-s were essentially similar for both sensors, considerable differences in magnitudes were observed (>6 degrees C over mountainous regions). Finally, T-a and T-s estimates from the AIRS and MODIS sensors were validated against ground-based observations for the period of 2009-2013. The error characteristics notably varied with ground stations and no clear evidence of their dependency on land cover types or elevation was detected. However, the MODIS-derived T-s estimates generally showed larger biases and higher errors compared to the AIRS-derived estimates. The biases and errors increased steadily when the spatial resolution of the MODIS estimates changed from finer to coarser. These results suggest that representativeness error should be properly accounted for when validating satellite-based temperature estimates with point observations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: copyright for this article belongs to SPRINGER WIEN
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2019 06:01
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2019 06:01
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/63381

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