Although lake surface water temperature (LSWT) is defined as an essential climate variable (ECV) within the global climate observing system (GCOS), current satellite-based retrieval techniques do not fulfill the GCOS accuracy requirements. The split-window (SW) retrieval method is well-established, and the split-window coefficients (SWC) are the key elements of its accuracy. Performances of SW depends on the degree of SWC customization with respect to its application, where accuracy increases when SWC is tailored for specific situations. In the literature, different SWC customization approaches have been investigated, however, no direct comparisons have been conducted among them. This paper presents the results of a sensitivity analysis to address this gap. We show that the performance of SWC is most sensitive to customizations for specific time-windows (Sensitivity Index SI of 0.85) or spatial extents (SI 0.27). Surprisingly, the study highlights that the use of separated SWC for daytime and night-time situations has limited impact (SI 0.10). The final validation with AVHRR satellite data showed that the subtle differences among different SWC customizations were not traceable to the final uncertainty of the LSWT product. Nevertheless, this study provides a basis to critically evaluate current assumptions regarding SWC generation by directly comparing the performance of multiple customization approaches for the first time.
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