Special Issue "Analysis of Decadal-Scale Continuous Data Products from Weather Satellite Platforms"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Atmosphere Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Bryan A. Baum
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Science and Technology Corporation, Madison, WI 53705, USA
Interests: remote sensing of cloud properties; bulk scattering properties of ice clouds; aerosol–cloud interactions; imager and hyperspectral sensor data fusion
Prof. Dr. Ping Yang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Holder of the David Bullock Harris Chair, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Interests: light scattering; radiative transfer; atmospheric radiation; remote sensing
Dr. Hartwig Deneke
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Interests: estimation of cloud properties from passive satellite sensors; validation with ground-based measurements; influence of clouds and aerosols on the atmospheric radiation budget; effects of small-scale cloud variability on cloud property retrievals and radiation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Currently, multi-decadal data records exist from polar-orbiting and geostationary satellite platforms, which are used to generate continuous products for a variety of Earth science disciplines. An important example is NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra and Aqua platforms, which were launched in 1999 and 2002, respectively, and are continued by the current Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20 platforms. Other examples include the European MetOp platforms, and various geostationary satellites, including GOES, Meteosat, Himawari, and others. The large investment in associated science discipline research (land, ocean, ozone, atmosphere, sounder, radiation budget, and calibration) over this time has resulted in significant advances in Earth system products and remote sensing methodology. Numerous space agencies have implemented programs (e.g., ESA CCI, NOAA CDR, EU C3S, NASA MEaSUREs, and the EUMETSAT SAF network) that are dedicated to analyzing the existing data archives in order to generate decadal data records of the highest quality for scientific research.

This Special Issue is dedicated to the continuity of satellite data products over a multi-decadal period, with special focus on the breakthroughs that are possible with a record based on well-calibrated data. While discussions may be included about the substantial algorithm refinement and innovative calibration techniques that are necessary in order to ensure a seamless decadal data record from measurements across the different platforms, the articles should also demonstrate how the algorithm/calibration improvements affect the long-term data record, and should include a discussion of any limitations or uncertainties that could impact the scientific analysis of the data, in particular, with respect to the investigation of inter-annual variability and trend detection. We also invite papers that make use of additional satellite platforms that extend and complement other decadal products.

Related References

This Issue is intended to expand upon the Remote Sensing Special Issue that was published earlier in 2019, which is available at the following link:

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/remotesensing/special_issues/assessment_cdr

Our Special Issue will expand on the scope of the previous Issue by providing a greater breadth of continuity products from the land, ocean, ozone, atmospheres (including clouds and aerosols), sounder, and radiation budget communities.

Dr. Bryan A. Baum
Prof. Ping Yang
Dr. Hartwig Deneke
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Decadal Data Product Generation and Analysis
  • Land Remote Sensing
  • Ocean Remote Sensing
  • Ozone Remote Sensing
  • Cloud Remote Sensing
  • Aerosol Remote Sensing
  • Radiation Budget
  • Multi-Sensor Calibration

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
NASA’s MODIS/VIIRS Global Water Reservoir Product Suite from Moderate Resolution Remote Sensing Data
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(4), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13040565 - 05 Feb 2021
Viewed by 649
Abstract
Global reservoir information can not only benefit local water management but can also improve our understanding of the hydrological cycle. This information includes water area, elevation, and storage; evaporation rate and volume values; and other characteristics. However, operational wall-to-wall reservoir storage and evaporation [...] Read more.
Global reservoir information can not only benefit local water management but can also improve our understanding of the hydrological cycle. This information includes water area, elevation, and storage; evaporation rate and volume values; and other characteristics. However, operational wall-to-wall reservoir storage and evaporation monitoring information is lacking on a global scale. Here we introduce NASA’s new MODIS/VIIRS Global Water Reservoir product suite based on moderate resolution remote sensing data—the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). This product consists of 8-day (MxD28C2 and VNP28C2) and monthly (MxD28C3 and VNP28C3) measurements for 164 large reservoirs (MxD stands for the product from both Terra (MOD) or Aqua (MYD) satellites). The 8-day product provides area, elevation, and storage values, which were generated by first extracting water areas from surface reflectance data and then applying the area estimations to the pre-established Area–Elevation (A–E) relationships. These values were then further aggregated to monthly, with the evaporation rate and volume information added. The evaporation rate and volume values were calculated after the Lake Temperature and Evaporation Model (LTEM) using MODIS/VIIRS land surface temperature product and meteorological data from the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS). Validation results show that the 250 m area classifications from MODIS agree well with the high-resolution classifications from Landsat (R2 = 0.99). Validation of elevation and storage products for twelve Indian reservoirs show good agreement in terms of R2 values (0.71–0.96 for elevation, and 0.79–0.96 for storage) and normalized root-mean-square error (NRMSE) values (5.08–19.34% for elevation, and 6.39–18.77% for storage). The evaporation rate results for two reservoirs (Lake Nasser and Lake Mead) agree well with in situ measurements (R2 values of 0.61 and 0.66, and NRMSE values of 16.25% and 21.76%). Furthermore, preliminary results from the VIIRS reservoir product have shown good consistency with the MODIS based product, confirming the continuity of this 20-year product suite. This new global water reservoir product suite can provide valuable information with regard to water-sources-related studies, applications, management, and hydrological modeling and change analysis such as drought monitoring. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Climate Hyperspectral Infrared Radiance Product (CHIRP) Combining the AIRS and CrIS Satellite Sounding Record
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(3), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13030418 - 26 Jan 2021
Viewed by 372
Abstract
A Climate Hyperspectral Infrared Radiance Product (CHIRP) is introduced combining data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA’s EOS-AQUA platform, the Cross-Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) sounder on NASA’s SNPP platform, and continuing with CRIS sounders on the NOAA/NASA Joint Polar Satellite Series [...] Read more.
A Climate Hyperspectral Infrared Radiance Product (CHIRP) is introduced combining data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA’s EOS-AQUA platform, the Cross-Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) sounder on NASA’s SNPP platform, and continuing with CRIS sounders on the NOAA/NASA Joint Polar Satellite Series (JPSS) of polar satellites. The CHIRP product converts the parent instrument’s radiances to a common Spectral Response Function (SRF) and removes inter-satellite biases, providing a consistent inter-satellite radiance record. The CHIRP record starts in September 2002 with AIRS, followed by CrIS SNPP and the JPSS series of CrIS instruments. The CHIRP record should continue until the mid-2040’s as additional JPSS satellites are launched. These sensors, in CHIRP format, provide the climate community with a homogeneous sensor record covering much of the infrared. We give an overview of the conversion of AIRS and CrIS to CHIRP, and define the SRF for common CHIRP format. Considerable attention is paid to removing static bias offsets among these three sensors. The CrIS instrument on NASA’s SNPP satellite is used as the calibration standard. Simultaneous Nadir Overpasses (SNOs) as well as large statistical samplings of radiances from these three satellites are used to derive the instrument bias offsets and estimate the bias offset accuracy, which is ~0.03 K. In addition, possible scene-dependent calibration differences between CHIRP derived from AIRS and CHIRP derived from CrIS on the SNPP platform are presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Climatology of the Combined ASTER MODIS Emissivity over Land (CAMEL) Version 2
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13010111 - 31 Dec 2020
Viewed by 517
Abstract
The Combined ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) Emissivity over Land (CAMEL) Version 2 (V002) has been available since March 2019 from the NASA LP DAAC (Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center) and provides global, monthly [...] Read more.
The Combined ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) Emissivity over Land (CAMEL) Version 2 (V002) has been available since March 2019 from the NASA LP DAAC (Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center) and provides global, monthly infrared land surface emissivity and uncertainty at 0.05 degrees (~5 km) resolution. A climatology of the CAMEL V002 product is now available at the same spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution, covering the CAMEL record from 2000 to 2016. Characterization of the climatology over case sites and IGBP (International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme) land cover categories shows the climatology is a stable representation of the monthly CAMEL emissivity. Time series of the monthly CAMEL V002 product show realistic seasonal changes but also reveal subtle artifacts known to be from calibration and processing errors in the MODIS MxD11 emissivity. The use of the CAMEL V002 climatology mitigates many of these time dependent errors by providing an emissivity estimate which represents the complete 16-year record. The CAMEL V002 climatology’s integration into RTTOV (Radiative Transfer for TOVS) v12 is demonstrated through the simulation of IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) radiances. Improved stability in CAMEL Version 3 is expected in the future with the incorporation of the new MxD21 and VIIRS VNP21 emissivity products in MODIS Collection 6.1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The NASA MODIS-VIIRS Continuity Cloud Optical Properties Products
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13010002 - 22 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
The NASA Aqua MODIS and Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (SNPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) climate data record continuity cloud properties products (CLDPROP) were publicly released in April 2019 with an update later that year (Version 1.1). These cloud products, having heritage [...] Read more.
The NASA Aqua MODIS and Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (SNPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) climate data record continuity cloud properties products (CLDPROP) were publicly released in April 2019 with an update later that year (Version 1.1). These cloud products, having heritage with the NASA Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) MOD06 cloud optical properties product and the NOAA GOES-R Algorithm Working Group (AWG) Cloud Height Algorithm (ACHA), represent an effort to bridge the multispectral imager records of NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) and NOAA’s current generation of operational weather satellites to achieve a continuous, multi-decadal climate data record for clouds that can extend well into the 2030s. CLDPROP offers a “continuity of approach,” applying common algorithms and ancillary datasets to both MODIS and VIIRS, including utilizing only a subset of spectral channels available on both sensors to help mitigate instrument differences. The initial release of the CLDPROP_MODIS and CLDPROP_VIIRS data records spans the SNPP observational record (2012-present). Here, we present an overview of the algorithms and an evaluation of the intersensor continuity of the core CLDPROP_MODIS and CLDPROP_VIIRS cloud optical property datasets, i.e., cloud thermodynamic phase, optical thickness, effective particle size, and derived water path. The evaluation includes analyses of pixel-level MODIS/VIIRS co-locations as well as spatial and temporal aggregated statistics, with a focus on identifying and understanding the root causes of individual dataset discontinuities. The results of this evaluation will inform future updates to the CLDPROP products and help scientific users determine the appropriate use of the product datasets for their specific needs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sensitivity of Multispectral Imager Liquid Water Cloud Microphysical Retrievals to the Index of Refraction
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(24), 4165; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12244165 - 19 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 549
Abstract
A cloud property retrieved from multispectral imagers having spectral channels in the shortwave infrared (SWIR) and/or midwave infrared (MWIR) is the cloud effective particle radius (CER), a radiatively relevant weighting of the cloud particle size distribution. The physical basis of the CER retrieval [...] Read more.
A cloud property retrieved from multispectral imagers having spectral channels in the shortwave infrared (SWIR) and/or midwave infrared (MWIR) is the cloud effective particle radius (CER), a radiatively relevant weighting of the cloud particle size distribution. The physical basis of the CER retrieval is the dependence of SWIR/MWIR cloud reflectance on the cloud particle single scattering albedo, which in turn depends on the complex index of refraction of bulk liquid water (or ice) in addition to the cloud particle size. There is a general consistency in the choice of the liquid water index of refraction by the cloud remote sensing community, largely due to the few available independent datasets and compilations. Here we examine the sensitivity of CER retrievals to the available laboratory index of refraction datasets in the SWIR and MWIR using the retrieval software package that produces NASA’s standard Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)/Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer suite (VIIRS) continuity cloud products. The sensitivity study incorporates two laboratory index of refraction datasets that include measurements at supercooled water temperatures, one in the SWIR and one in the MWIR. Neither has been broadly utilized in the cloud remote sensing community. It is shown that these two new datasets can significantly change CER retrievals (e.g., 1–2 µm) relative to common datasets used by the community. Further, index of refraction data for a 265 K water temperature gives more consistent retrievals between the two spectrally distinct 2.2 µm atmospheric window channels on MODIS and VIIRS. As a result, 265 K values from the SWIR and MWIR index of refraction datasets were adopted for use in the production version of the continuity cloud product. The results indicate the need to better understand temperature-dependent bulk water absorption and uncertainties in these spectral regions. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Derivation of Shortwave Radiometric Adjustments for SNPP and NOAA-20 VIIRS for the NASA MODIS-VIIRS Continuity Cloud Products
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(24), 4096; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12244096 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 462
Abstract
Climate studies, including trend detection and other time series analyses, necessarily require stable, well-characterized and long-term data records. For satellite-based geophysical retrieval datasets, such data records often involve merging the observational records of multiple similar, though not identical, instruments. The National Aeronautics and [...] Read more.
Climate studies, including trend detection and other time series analyses, necessarily require stable, well-characterized and long-term data records. For satellite-based geophysical retrieval datasets, such data records often involve merging the observational records of multiple similar, though not identical, instruments. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) cloud mask (CLDMSK) and cloud-top and optical properties (CLDPROP) products are designed to bridge the observational records of the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard NASA’s Aqua satellite and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the joint NASA/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite and NOAA’s new generation of operational polar-orbiting weather platforms (NOAA-20+). Early implementations of the CLDPROP algorithms on Aqua MODIS and SNPP VIIRS suffered from large intersensor biases in cloud optical properties that were traced back to relative radiometric inconsistency in analogous shortwave channels on both imagers, with VIIRS generally observing brighter top-of-atmosphere spectral reflectance than MODIS (e.g., up to 5% brighter in the 0.67 µm channel). Radiometric adjustment factors for the SNPP and NOAA-20 VIIRS shortwave channels used in the cloud optical property retrievals are derived from an extensive analysis of the overlapping observational records with Aqua MODIS, specifically for homogenous maritime liquid water cloud scenes for which the viewing/solar geometry of MODIS and VIIRS match. Application of these adjustment factors to the VIIRS L1B prior to ingestion into the CLDMSK and CLDPROP algorithms yields improved intersensor agreement, particularly for cloud optical properties. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Continuity of MODIS and VIIRS Snow Cover Extent Data Products for Development of an Earth Science Data Record
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(22), 3781; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12223781 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 468
Abstract
An Earth Observing System global snow cover extent data products record at moderate spatial resolution (375–500 m) began in February 2000 with the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard the Terra satellite. The record continued with the Aqua MODIS in July 2002, the [...] Read more.
An Earth Observing System global snow cover extent data products record at moderate spatial resolution (375–500 m) began in February 2000 with the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard the Terra satellite. The record continued with the Aqua MODIS in July 2002, the Suomi-National Polar Platform (S-NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) in January 2012 and continues with the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) VIIRS, launched in November of 2017. The objective of this work is to develop a snow cover extent Earth Science Data Record (ESDR) using different satellites, sensors and algorithms. There are many issues to understand when data from different algorithms and sensors are used over a decade-scale time period to create a continuous dataset. Issues may also arise with sensor degradation and even differences in sensor band locations. In this paper we describe development of an ESDR derived from existing MODIS and VIIRS data products and demonstrate continuity among the products. The MODIS and VIIRS snow cover detection algorithms produce very similar daily snow cover maps, with 90–97% agreement in snow cover extent (SCE) in different landscapes. Differences in SCE between products ranged from 2–15% and are attributable to convolved factors of viewing geometry, pixel spread across a scan and time of observation. Compared at a common grid size of 1 km, there is a mean of 95% agreement in SCE and a difference range of 1–10% between the MODIS and VIIRS SCE maps. Mapping sensor observations to a coarser resolution grid reduces the effect of the factors convolved in the 500 m tile to tile comparisons. We conclude that the MODIS and VIIRS SCE data products are reliable constituents of a moderate-resolution ESDR. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Skin Sea-Surface Temperature from VIIRS on Suomi-NPP—NASA Continuity Retrievals
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(20), 3369; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12203369 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 460
Abstract
Retrievals of skin Sea-Surface Temperature (SSTskin) from the measurements of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite are presented and discussed. The algorithms used to derive the SSTskin from the radiometric measurements are given in [...] Read more.
Retrievals of skin Sea-Surface Temperature (SSTskin) from the measurements of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite are presented and discussed. The algorithms used to derive the SSTskin from the radiometric measurements are given in detail. A number of approaches to assess the accuracy and stability of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) SSTskin retrievals are reported, and factors including latitude and season, and physical processes in the atmosphere and at the surface are discussed. We conclude that the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) VIIRS is capable of matching and improving upon the accuracies of SSTskin from the MODISs on Terra and Aqua, and that the VIIRS SSTskin fields have the potential to contribute to the extension of the satellite-derived Climate Data Records of SST into the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Continuity MODIS-VIIRS Cloud Mask
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(20), 3334; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12203334 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 473
Abstract
This paper introduces the Continuity Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Cloud Mask (MVCM), a cloud detection algorithm designed to facilitate continuity in cloud detection between the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) on the Aqua and Terra platforms and [...] Read more.
This paper introduces the Continuity Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Cloud Mask (MVCM), a cloud detection algorithm designed to facilitate continuity in cloud detection between the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) on the Aqua and Terra platforms and the series of VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instruments, beginning with the Soumi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) spacecraft. It is based on the MODIS cloud mask that has been operating since 2000 with the launch of the Terra spacecraft (MOD35) and continuing in 2002 with Aqua (MYD35). The MVCM makes use of fourteen spectral bands that are common to both MODIS and VIIRS so as to create consistent cloud detection between the two instruments and across the years 2000–2020 and beyond. Through comparison data sets, including collocated Aqua MODIS and Cloud-Aerosol LIdar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) from the A-Train, this study was designed to assign statistical consistency benchmarks between the MYD35 and MVCM cloud masks. It is shown that the MVCM produces consistent cloud detection results between Aqua MODIS, SNPP VIIRS, and NOAA-20 VIIRS and that the quality is comparable to the standard Aqua MODIS cloud mask. Globally, comparisons with collocated CALIOP lidar show combined clear and cloudy sky hit rates of 88.2%, 87.5%, 86.8%, and 86.8% for MYD35, MVCM Aqua MODIS, MVCM SNPP VIIRS, and MVCM NOAA-20 VIIRS, respectively, for June through until August, 2018. For the same months and in the same order for 60S–60N, hit rates are 90.7%, 90.5%, 90.1%, and 90.3%. From the time series constructed from gridded daily means of 60S–60N cloud fractions, we found that the mean day-to-day cloud fraction differences/standard deviations in percent to be 0.68/0.55, 0.94/0.64, −0.20/0.50, and 0.44/0.82 for MVCM Aqua MODIS-MVCM SNPP VIIRS day and night, and MVCM NOAA-20 VIIRS-MVCM SNPP VIIRS day and night, respectively. It is seen that the MODIS and VIIRS 1.38 µm cirrus detection bands perform similarly but with MODIS detecting slightly more clouds in the middle to high levels of the troposphere and the VIIRS detecting more in the upper troposphere above 16 km. In the Arctic, MVCM Aqua MODIS and SNPP VIIRS reported cloud fraction differences of 0–3% during the mid-summer season and −3–4% during the mid-winter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
MODIS and VIIRS Calibration and Characterization in Support of Producing Long-Term High-Quality Data Products
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(19), 3167; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12193167 - 27 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 957
Abstract
Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) have successfully operated since their launches in 1999 and 2002, respectively, and generated various data products to support the Earth remote sensing disciplines and users worldwide for their research activities and applications, including studies of [...] Read more.
Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) have successfully operated since their launches in 1999 and 2002, respectively, and generated various data products to support the Earth remote sensing disciplines and users worldwide for their research activities and applications, including studies of the Earth system, and its changes over time and geographic regions. The MODIS data have also significantly contributed to the continuity of multi-decadal satellite data records and led to major advances in the Earth remote sensing field. The long-term data records from MODIS observations have been and will continue to be extended by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instruments, currently operated aboard the Suomi-National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (NPP) and NOAA-20 satellites. The data quality of satellite instruments strongly depends on their calibration accuracy and stability. In order to help scientists and users gain a better understanding of MODIS and VIIRS data quality, this paper provides an overview of their on-orbit calibration methodologies, approaches, and results derived from instrument on-board calibrators and lunar observations, as well as select Earth view targets. What is also discussed is the calibration consistency between MODIS and VIIRS and its potential impact on producing multi-sensor long-term data records. As illustrated, the overall performance of both MODIS and VIIRS continues to meet their design requirements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Uncertainties in CERES Top-of-Atmosphere Fluxes Caused by Changes in Accompanying Imager
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(12), 2040; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12122040 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 615
Abstract
The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project provides observations of Earth’s radiation budget using measurements from CERES instruments on board the Terra, Aqua, Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP), and NOAA-20 satellites. The CERES top-of-atmosphere (TOA) fluxes are produced by converting [...] Read more.
The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project provides observations of Earth’s radiation budget using measurements from CERES instruments on board the Terra, Aqua, Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP), and NOAA-20 satellites. The CERES top-of-atmosphere (TOA) fluxes are produced by converting radiance measurements using empirical angular distribution models, which are functions of cloud properties that are retrieved from imagers flying with the CERES instruments. As the objective is to create a long-term climate data record, not only calibration consistency of the six CERES instruments needs to be maintained for the entire time period, it is also important to maintain the consistency of other input data sets used to produce this climate data record. In this paper, we address aspects that could potentially affect the CERES TOA flux data quality. Discontinuities in imager calibration can affect cloud retrieval which can lead to erroneous flux trends. When imposing an artificial 0.6 per decade decreasing trend to cloud optical depth, which is similar to the trend difference between CERES Edition 2 and Edition 4 cloud retrievals, the decadal SW flux trend changed from 0.3 5 ± 0.18 Wm 2 to 0.61 ± 0.18 Wm 2 . This indicates that a 13% change in cloud optical depth results in about 1% change in the SW flux. Furthermore, different CERES instruments provide valid fluxes at different viewing zenith angle ranges, and including fluxes derived at the most oblique angels unique to S-NPP (>66 ) can lead to differences of 0.8 Wm 2 and 0.3 Wm 2 in global monthly mean instantaneous SW flux and LW flux. To ensure continuity, the viewing zenith angle ranges common to all CERES instruments (<66 ) are used to produce the long-term Earth’s radiation budget climate data record. The consistency of cloud properties retrieved from different imagers also needs to be maintained to ensure the TOA flux consistency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Uncertainty in Satellite-Derived Surface Irradiances and Challenges in Producing Surface Radiation Budget Climate Data Record
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(12), 1950; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12121950 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 577
Abstract
The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF) Edition 4.1 data product provides global surface irradiances. Uncertainties in the global and regional monthly and annual mean all-sky net shortwave, longwave, and shortwave plus longwave (total) irradiances are [...] Read more.
The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF) Edition 4.1 data product provides global surface irradiances. Uncertainties in the global and regional monthly and annual mean all-sky net shortwave, longwave, and shortwave plus longwave (total) irradiances are estimated using ground-based observations. Error covariance is derived from surface irradiance sensitivity to surface, atmospheric, cloud and aerosol property perturbations. Uncertainties in global annual mean net shortwave, longwave, and total irradiances at the surface are, respectively, 5.7 Wm−2, 6.7 Wm−2, and 9.7 Wm−2. In addition, the uncertainty in surface downward irradiance monthly anomalies and their trends are estimated based on the difference derived from EBAF surface irradiances and observations. The uncertainty in the decadal trend suggests that when differences of decadal global mean downward shortwave and longwave irradiances are, respectively, greater than 0.45 Wm−2 and 0.52 Wm−2, the difference is larger than 1σ uncertainties. However, surface irradiance observation sites are located predominately over tropical oceans and the northern hemisphere mid-latitude. As a consequence, the effect of a discontinuity introduced by using multiple geostationary satellites in deriving cloud properties is likely to be excluded from these trend and decadal change uncertainty estimates. Nevertheless, the monthly anomaly timeseries of radiative cooling in the atmosphere (multiplied by −1) agrees reasonably well with the anomaly time series of diabatic heating derived from global mean precipitation and sensible heat flux with a correlation coefficient of 0.46. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Radiometrically Consistent Climate Fingerprinting Using CrIS and AIRS Hyperspectral Observations
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(8), 1291; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12081291 - 18 Apr 2020
Viewed by 742
Abstract
We introduce a novel spectral fingerprinting scheme that can be used to derive long-term atmospheric temperature and water vapor anomalies from hyperspectral infrared sounders such as Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) and Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS). It is a challenging task to derive climate [...] Read more.
We introduce a novel spectral fingerprinting scheme that can be used to derive long-term atmospheric temperature and water vapor anomalies from hyperspectral infrared sounders such as Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) and Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS). It is a challenging task to derive climate trends from real satellite observations due to the difficulty of carrying out accurate cloudy radiance simulations and constructing radiometrically consistent radiative kernels. To address these issues, we use a principal component based radiative transfer model (PCRTM) to perform multiple scattering calculations of clouds and a PCRTM-based physical retrieval algorithm to derive radiometrically consistent radiative kernels from real satellite observations. The capability of including the cloud scattering calculations in the retrieval process allows the establishment of a rigorous radiometric fitting to satellite-observed radiances under all-sky conditions. The fingerprinting solution is directly obtained via an inverse relationship between the atmospheric anomalies and the corresponding spatiotemporally averaged radiance anomalies. Since there is no need to perform Level 2 retrievals on each individual satellite footprint for the fingerprinting approach, it is much more computationally efficient than the traditional way of producing climate data records from spatiotemporally averaged Level 2 products. We have applied the spectral fingerprinting method to six years of CrIS and 16 years of AIRS data to derive long-term anomaly time series for atmospheric temperature and water vapor profiles. The CrIS and AIRS temperature and water vapor anomalies derived from our spectral fingerprinting method have been validated using results from the PCRTM-based physical retrieval algorithm and the AIRS operational retrieval algorithm, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
CERES Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF) from Afternoon-Only Satellite Orbits
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(8), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12081280 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 808
Abstract
The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF) data product uses a diurnal correction methodology to produce a shortwave (SW) top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative flux time series that accounts for diurnal cycle changes between CERES observation times while [...] Read more.
The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF) data product uses a diurnal correction methodology to produce a shortwave (SW) top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative flux time series that accounts for diurnal cycle changes between CERES observation times while ensuring that the stability of the EBAF record is tied as closely as possible to CERES instrument calibration stability. The current EBAF Ed4.1 data product combines observations from Terra and Aqua after July 2002. However, the Terra satellite will start to drift in Mean Local Time (MLT) in early 2021, and Aqua’s MLT will start to drift in 2022. To ensure the EBAF record remains temporally stable, we explore the feasibility of using only CERES instruments from afternoon satellite orbits with a tight 1330 MLT after July 2002. We test this approach by directly comparing SW TOA fluxes generated after applying diurnal corrections to Aqua-only and to Terra + Aqua for 07/2002–06/2019. We find that global climatological mean SW TOA fluxes for these two cases are within 0.01 Wm−2 and the trend of the difference is < is 0.03 Wm−2 per decade. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Climatology Perspective of Sensitive Regimes and Active Regions of Aerosol Indirect Effect for Cirrus Clouds over the Global Oceans
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(5), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12050823 - 03 Mar 2020
Viewed by 937
Abstract
Long-term satellite climate data records (CDRs) of clouds and aerosols are used to investigate the aerosol indirect effect (AIE) of cirrus clouds over the global oceans from a climatology perspective. Our study focuses on identifying the sensitive regimes and active regions where AIE [...] Read more.
Long-term satellite climate data records (CDRs) of clouds and aerosols are used to investigate the aerosol indirect effect (AIE) of cirrus clouds over the global oceans from a climatology perspective. Our study focuses on identifying the sensitive regimes and active regions where AIE signatures easily manifest themselves in the sense of the long-term average of cloud and aerosol variables. The aerosol index (AIX) regimes of AIX < 0.18 and 0.18 < AIX < 0.46 are respectively identified as the sensitive regimes for negative and positive aerosol albedos and lifetime effects of cirrus clouds. Relative humidity first decreases (along with upward motions) and then reverses to increase (along with downward motions) in the first regime of negative aerosol albedo and lifetime effects. Relatively wet and strong upward motions are the favorable meteorological conditions for the second regime of positive aerosol albedo and lifetime effects. Two swath regions extending from 15°N to 30°N over the east coastal oceans of China and the USA are the active regions of positive aerosol albedo effects. Positive aerosol lifetime effects are only active or easy to manifest in the regions where a positive aerosol albedo effect is active. The results based on the long-term averaged satellite observations are valuable for the evaluation and improvement of aerosol-cloud interactions for cirrus clouds in global climate models. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Continuing the MODIS Dark Target Aerosol Time Series with VIIRS
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(2), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12020308 - 17 Jan 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1239
Abstract
For reflected sunlight observed from space at visible and near-infrared wavelengths, particles suspended in Earth’s atmosphere provide contrast with vegetation or dark water at the surface. This is the physical motivation for the Dark Target (DT) aerosol retrieval algorithm developed for the Moderate [...] Read more.
For reflected sunlight observed from space at visible and near-infrared wavelengths, particles suspended in Earth’s atmosphere provide contrast with vegetation or dark water at the surface. This is the physical motivation for the Dark Target (DT) aerosol retrieval algorithm developed for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS). To extend the data record of aerosol optical depth (AOD) beyond the expected 20-year lifespan of the MODIS sensors, DT must be adapted for other sensors. A version of the DT AOD retrieval for the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (SNPP) is now mature enough to be released as a standard data product, and includes some upgraded features from the MODIS version. Differences between MODIS Aqua and VIIRS SNPP lead to some inevitable disagreement between their respective AOD measurements, but the offset between the VIIRS SNPP and MODIS Aqua records is smaller than the offset between those of MODIS Aqua and MODIS Terra. The VIIRS SNPP retrieval shows good agreement with ground-based measurements. For most purposes, DT for VIIRS SNPP is consistent enough and in close enough agreement with MODIS to continue the record of satellite AOD. The reasons for the offset from MODIS Aqua, and its spatial and temporal variability, are investigated in this study. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Dark Target Algorithm for Observing the Global Aerosol System: Past, Present, and Future
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(18), 2900; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12182900 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1221
Abstract
The Dark Target aerosol algorithm was developed to exploit the information content available from the observations of Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS), to better characterize the global aerosol system. The algorithm is based on measurements of the light scattered by aerosols toward a space-borne [...] Read more.
The Dark Target aerosol algorithm was developed to exploit the information content available from the observations of Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS), to better characterize the global aerosol system. The algorithm is based on measurements of the light scattered by aerosols toward a space-borne sensor against the backdrop of relatively dark Earth scenes, thus giving rise to the name “Dark Target”. Development required nearly a decade of research that included application of MODIS airborne simulators to provide test beds for proto-algorithms and analysis of existing data to form realistic assumptions to constrain surface reflectance and aerosol optical properties. This research in itself played a significant role in expanding our understanding of aerosol properties, even before Terra MODIS launch. Contributing to that understanding were the observations and retrievals of the growing Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) of sun-sky radiometers, which has walked hand-in-hand with MODIS and the development of other aerosol algorithms, providing validation of the satellite-retrieved products after launch. The MODIS Dark Target products prompted advances in Earth science and applications across subdisciplines such as climate, transport of aerosols, air quality, and data assimilation systems. Then, as the Terra and Aqua MODIS sensors aged, the challenge was to monitor the effects of calibration drifts on the aerosol products and to differentiate physical trends in the aerosol system from artefacts introduced by instrument characterization. Our intention is to continue to adapt and apply the well-vetted Dark Target algorithms to new instruments, including both polar-orbiting and geosynchronous sensors. The goal is to produce an uninterrupted time series of an aerosol climate data record that begins at the dawn of the 21st century and continues indefinitely into the future. Full article
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Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessTechnical Note
Changes in HIRS Detection of Cloud over Australia from 1985 to 2001
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(5), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13050917 - 01 Mar 2021
Viewed by 376
Abstract
A long-term archive of cloud properties (cloud top pressure, CTP; and cloud effective emissivity, ε) determined from High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) data is investigated for evidence of regional cloud cover change. In the 17 years between 1985 and 2001, different cloud types [...] Read more.
A long-term archive of cloud properties (cloud top pressure, CTP; and cloud effective emissivity, ε) determined from High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) data is investigated for evidence of regional cloud cover change. In the 17 years between 1985 and 2001, different cloud types are analysed over the Australian region (10° S–45° S, 105° E–160° E) and areas of change in total cloud frequency examined. Total cloud frequency change over the Australian region between two adjacent eight-year time periods (1994 to 2001 minus 1985 to 1992) shows the largest increases (ranges between 6% and 12%) of average HIRS total cloud cover occurring over the offshore regions to the northwest and northeast of the continent. Over land, the largest reduction of average HIRS total cloud frequency is in the southwestern region of Australia (between 2% and 8%). Through central Australia, there is a 2% to 7% increase in average HIRS total cloud frequency when comparing these eight-year periods. This paper examines the regional cloud changes in 17 years over Australia that are embedded in global cloud statistics. Examining total HIRS cloud cover frequency over Australia and comparing two different eight-year time periods, has highlighted notable areas of average change. Preliminary reporting of satellite-derived HIRS cloud products and Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) rainfall products during La Niña seasons between 1985 and 2001 has also been undertaken. Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Observed HIRS and Aqua MODIS Thermal Infrared Moisture Determinations in the 2000s
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(3), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13030502 - 31 Jan 2021
Viewed by 599
Abstract
This paper compares the tropospheric moisture data records derived from High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) measurements from the years 2003 through 2013. Total Precipitable Water Vapor (TPW) and Upper Tropospheric Precipitable Water Vapor (UTPW) are derived using [...] Read more.
This paper compares the tropospheric moisture data records derived from High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) measurements from the years 2003 through 2013. Total Precipitable Water Vapor (TPW) and Upper Tropospheric Precipitable Water Vapor (UTPW) are derived using the infrared spectral bands in the CO2 and H2O absorption bands as well as in the atmospheric windows. Retrieval of TPW and UTPW uses a statistical regression algorithm performed using clear sky radiances (and Brightness Temperatures) measured over land and ocean for both day and night. The TPW and UTPW seasonal cycles of HIRS and MODIS observations are found to be in synchronization with zonal mean values for one degree latitude bands within 2.0 mm and 0.07 mm, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Generation of a Seamless Earth Radiation Budget Climate Data Record: A New Methodology for Placing Overlapping Satellite Instruments on the Same Radiometric Scale
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(17), 2787; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12172787 - 27 Aug 2020
Viewed by 847
Abstract
The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments have enabled the generation of a multi-decadal Earth radiation budget (ERB) climate data record (CDR) at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere, within the atmosphere, and at the Earth’s surface. Six CERES instruments [...] Read more.
The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments have enabled the generation of a multi-decadal Earth radiation budget (ERB) climate data record (CDR) at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere, within the atmosphere, and at the Earth’s surface. Six CERES instruments have been launched over the course of twenty years, starting in 1999. To seamlessly continue the data record into the future, there is a need to radiometrically scale observations from newly launched instruments to observations from the existing data record. In this work, we describe a methodology to place the CERES Flight Model (FM) 5 instrument on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) spacecraft on the same radiometric scale as the FM3 instrument on the Aqua spacecraft. We determine the required magnitude of radiometric scaling by using spatially and temporally matched observations from these two instruments and describe the process to radiometrically scale SNPP/FM5 to Aqua/FM3 through the instrument spectral response functions. We also present validation results after application of this radiometric scaling and demonstrate the long-term consistency of the SNPP/FM5 record in comparison with the CERES instruments on Aqua and Terra. Full article
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