Pan-arctic land surface temperature from MODIS and AATSR: Product development and intercomparison

Aiman Soliman, Claude Duguay, William Saunders, Sonia Hachem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Models and observations show that the Arctic is experiencing the most rapid changes in global near-surface air temperature. We developed novel EASE-grid Level 3 (L3) land surface temperature (LST) products from Level 2 (L2) AATSR and MODIS data to provide weekly, monthly and annual LST means over the pan-Arctic region at various grid resolutions (1-25 km) for the past decade (2000-2010). In this paper, we provide: (1) a review of previous validation of MODIS/AATSR L2; (2) a description of the processing chain of L3 products; (3) an assessment of the 25 km products uncertainty, and; (4) a quantification of the bias introduced by over-representing clear-sky days in MODIS L3 products. In addition, we generated uncertainty maps by comparing L3 products with LST from passive microwave sensors (AMSR-E and SSM/I) and the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR). Results show a close correspondence between MODIS and AATSR monthly products with a mean-difference (MD) of -1.1 K. Comparing L3 products with NARR indicates a close agreement in summer and a systematic bias in winter, which is entirely negative with respect to MODIS L3 (MD: -3.6, Min: -6.8, Max: -1 K). Comparing monthly averaged MODIS L3 to NARR clear-sky to quantify over-representing clear-sky days indicates a decrease of winter and an increase of summer difference compared to NARR all-sky. Finally, we provide suggestions to improve LST retrieval over Arctic regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3833-3856
Number of pages24
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Arctic
  • Atmospheric reanalysis
  • Land surface temperature
  • Passive microwave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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