Hall, DK, Box, JE, Casey, KA, Hook, SJ, Shuman, CA, Steffen, K (2008). Comparison of satellite-derived and in-situ observations of ice and snow surface temperatures over Greenland. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 112(10), 3739-3749.
The most practical way to get spatially broad and continuous measurements of the surface temperature in the data-sparse cryosphere is by satellite remote sensing. The uncertainties in satellite-derived LSTs must be understood to develop internally-consistent decade-scale land surface temperature (LST) records needed for climate studies. In this work we assess satellite-derived clear-sky LST products from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), and LSTs derived from the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) over snow and ice on Greenland. When possible, we compare satellite-derived LSTs with in-situ air temperature observations from Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net) automatic weather stations (AWS). We find that MODIS, ASTER and ETM+ provide reliable and consistent LSTs under clear-sky conditions and relatively-flat terrain over snow and ice targets over a range of temperatures from -40 to 0 degrees C. The satellite-derived LSTs agree within a relative RMS uncertainty of -0.5 degrees C. The good agreement among the LSTs derived from the various satellite instruments is especially notable since different spectral channels and different retrieval algorithms are used to calculate LST from the raw satellite data. The AWS record in-situ data at a point while the satellite instruments record data over an area varying in size from: 57 x 57 m (ETM+), 90 x 90 m (ASTER), or to 1 x 1 km (MODIS). Surface topography and other factors contribute to variability of LST within a pixel, thus the AWS measurements may not be representative of the LST of the pixel. Without more information on the local spatial patterns of LST, the AWS LST cannot be considered valid ground truth for the satellite measurements, with RMS uncertainty similar to 2 degrees C. Despite the relatively large AWS-derived uncertainty, we find LST data are characterized by high accuracy but have uncertain absolute precision. (c) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.