Soil moisture plays a vital role for the understanding of hydrological, meteorological, and climatological land surface processes. To meet the need of real time global soil moisture datasets, a Soil Moisture Operational Product System (SMOPS) has been developed at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to produce a one-stop shop for soil moisture observations from all available satellite sensors. What makes the SMOPS unique is its near real time global blended soil moisture product. Since the first version SMOPS publicly released in 2010, the SMOPS has been updated twice based on the users’ feedbacks through improving retrieval algorithms and including observations from new satellite sensors. The version 3.0 SMOPS has been operationally released since 2017. Significant differences in climatological averages lead to remarkable distinctions in data quality between the newest and the older versions of SMOPS blended soil moisture products. This study reveals that the SMOPS version 3.0 has overwhelming advantages of reduced data uncertainties and increased correlations with respect to the quality controlled in situ measurements. The new version SMOPS also presents more robust agreements with the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative (ESA_CCI) soil moisture datasets. With the higher accuracy, the blended data product from the new version SMOPS is expected to benefit the hydrological, meteorological, and climatological researches, as well as numerical weather, climate, and water prediction operations.
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