Comparison between MODIS and AIRS/AMSU satellite-derived surface skin temperatures
Abstract. Surface skin temperatures of the Level 3 products of MODIS Collection 5 (C5) and AIRS/AMSU version 5 (V5) have been compared in terms of monthly anomaly trends and climatologies over the globe during the period from September 2002 to August 2011. The MODIS temperatures in the 50° N–50° S region tend to systematically be ~1.7 K colder over land and ~0.5 K warmer over ocean than the AIRS/AMSU temperatures. Over high latitude ocean the MODIS sea surface temperature (SST) values are ~5.5 K warmer than the AIRS/AMSU. The discrepancies between the annual averages of the two sensors are as much as ~12 K in the sea ice regions. Meanwhile, the MODIS ice surface temperature product (MYD29E1D) over the ocean is in better agreement with AIRS/AMSU temperatures, showing a root mean square error of 3.7–3.9 K. The disagreement between the two sensors results mainly from the differences in ice/snow emissivity between MODIS infrared and AMSU microwave, and also in their observational local times. Both MODIS and AIRS/AMSU show cooling rates from −0.05 ± 0.06 to −0.14 ± 0.07 K 9 yr−1 over the globe, but warming rates (0.02 ± 0.12 –0.15 ± 0.19 K 9 yr−1) in the high latitude regions.
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