Since the late 1970s, satellite passive-microwave brightness temperatures have been a mainstay in remote sensing of the cryosphere. Polar snow and ice-covered ocean and land surfaces are especially sensitive to climate change and are observed to fluctuate on interannual to decadal timescales. In regions of limited sunlight and cloudy conditions, microwave measurements are particularly valuable for monitoring snow- and ice-covered ocean and land surfaces, due to microwave sensitivity to phase changes of water. Historically available at relatively low resolutions (25 km) compared to optical techniques (less than 1 km), passive-microwave sensors have provided short-timescale, large-area spatial coverage, and high temporal repeat observations for monitoring hemispheric-wide changes. However, historically available gridded passive microwave products have fallen short of modern requirements for climate data records, notably by using inconsistently-calibrated input data, including only limited periods of sensor overlaps, employing image-reconstruction methods that tuned for reduced noise rather than enhanced resolution, and using projection and grid definitions that were not easily interpreted by geolocation software. Using a recently completed Fundamental Climate Data Record of the swath format passive-microwave record that incorporated new, cross-sensor calibrations, we have produced an improved, gridded data record. Defined on the EASE-Grid 2.0
map projections and derived with numerically efficient image-reconstruction techniques, the Calibrated, Enhanced-Resolution Brightness Temperature (CETB) Earth System Data Record (ESDR) increases spatial resolution up to 3.125 km for the highest frequency channels, and satisfies modern Climate Data Record (CDR) requirements as defined by the National Research Council. We describe the best practices and development approaches that we used to ensure algorithmic integrity and to define and satisfy metadata, content and structural requirements for this high-quality, reliable, consistently gridded microwave radiometer climate data record.
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