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Evaluation and improvement of the MODIS land surface temperature/emissivity products using ground-based measurements at a semi-desert site on the western Tibetan Plateau

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Current MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land surface temperature (LST, surface skin temperature)/emissivity products are evaluated and improvements are investigated. The ground-based measurements of LST at Gaize (32.30° N, 84.06° E, 4420 m) on the western Tibetan Plateau from January 2001 to December 2002 agree well (mean and standard deviation of differences of 0.27 K and 0.84 K) with the 1-km Version 004 (V4) Terra MODIS LST product (MOD11A1) generated by the split-window algorithm. Spectral emissivities measured from surface soil samples collected at and around the Gaize site are in close agreement with the landcover-based emissivities in bands 31 and 32 used by the split-window algorithm. The LSTs in the V4 MODIS LST/emissivity products (MYD11B1 for Aqua and MOD11B1 for Terra) from the day/night LST algorithm are higher by 1-1.7 K (standard deviation around 0.6 K) in comparisons to the 5-km grid aggregated values of the LSTs in the 1-km products, which is consistent with the results of a comparison of emissivities. On average, the emissivity in MYD11B1 (MOD11B1) is 0.0107 (0.0167) less than the ground-based measurements, which is equivalent to a 0.64 K (1.25 K) overestimation of LST around the average value of 285 K. Knowledge obtained from the evaluation of MODIS LST/emissivity retrievals provides useful information for the improvement of the MODIS LST day/night algorithm. Improved performance of the refined (V5) day/night algorithm was demonstrated with the Terra MODIS data in May-June 2004.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: LAGEO, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, PR China,State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing, Institute of Remote Sensing Applications of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Beijing Normal University, 2: ICESS, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106-3060 3: LAGEO, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, PR China 4: International CLIVAR Project Office, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK 5: Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China 6: Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0052, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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