Perry, M; Ghent, DJ; Jimenez, C; Dodd, EMA; Ermida, SL; Trigo, IE; Veal, KL (2020). Multisensor Thermal Infrared and Microwave Land Surface Temperature Algorithm Intercomparison. REMOTE SENSING, 12(24), 4164.

To ensure optimal and consistent algorithm usage within climate studies utilizing satellite-derived Land Surface Temperature (LST) datasets, an algorithm intercomparison exercise was undertaken to assess the various operational and scientific LST retrieval algorithms in use. This study was focused on several LST products including single-sensor products for AATSR, Terra-MODIS, SEVIRI, SSM/I and SSMIS; a Climate Date Record (CDR), which is a combined dataset drawing from AATSR, SLSTR and MODIS; and finally a merged low Earth orbit/geostationary product using data from AATSR, MODIS and SEVIRI. Therefore, the analysis included 14 algorithms: seven thermal infrared algorithms and seven microwave algorithms. The thermal infrared algorithms include five split-window coefficient-based algorithms, one optimal estimation algorithm and one single-channel inversion algorithm, with the microwave focusing on linear regression and neural network methods. The algorithm intercomparison assessed the performance of the retrieval algorithms for all sensors using a benchmark database. This approach was chosen due to the lack of sufficient in situ validation sites globally and the bias this limited set engendered on the training of particular algorithms. A simulated approach has the ability to test all parameters in a consistent, fair manner at a global scale. The benchmark database was constructed from European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Re-analysis 5 (ERA5) atmospheric data, Combined ASTER and MODIS Emissivity for Land (CAMEL) infrared emissivity data, and Tool to Estimate Land Surface Emissivities at Microwave frequencies (TELSEM) emissivity data for the period of 2013-2015. The best-performing algorithms had biases of under 0.2 K and standard deviations of approximately 0.7 K. These results were consistent across multiple sensors. Areas of improvement, such as coefficient banding, were found for all algorithms as well as lines for further inquiry that could improve the global and regional performance.