An Independent Assessment of Pathfinder AVHRR Sea Surface Temperature Accuracy Using the Marine Atmosphere Emitted Radiance Interferometer (MAERI)

Edward J. Kearns, Jennifer A. Hanafin, Robert H. Evans, Peter J. Minnett, Otis B. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

The remotely sensed sea surface temperature (SST) estimated from the 4-km-resolution Pathfinder SST algorithm is compared to a SST locally measured by the Marine Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (MAERI) during five oceanographic cruises in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, in conditions ranging from Arctic to equatorial. The Pathfinder SST is a product of the satellite-based Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer, while the MAERI is an infrared radiometric interferometer with continuous onboard calibration that can provide highly accurate (better than 0.05°C) in situ skin temperatures during extended shipboard deployments. Matchups, which are collocated (within 4 km) and coincident (±40 min during the day; ±120 min during the night) data, from these two different sources under cloud-free conditions are compared. The average difference between the MAERI and Pathfinder SSTs is found to be 0.07 ±0.31°C from 219 matchups during the low- and midlatitude cruises; inclusion of 80 more matchups from the Arctic comparisons produces an average global difference of 0.14 ±0.36°C. The MAERI-Pathfinder differences compare favorably with the average midlatitude differences between the MAERI skin SST and other bulk SST estimates commonly available for these cruises such as the research vessels' thermosalinograph SST (0.12 ±0.17°C) and the weekly National Centers for Environmental Prediction optimally interpolated SST analysis (0.41 ±0.58°C). While not representative of all possible oceanic and atmospheric regimes, the accuracy of the Pathfinder SST estimates under the conditions sampled by the five cruises is found to be at least twice as good as previously demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1525-1536
Number of pages12
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Volume81
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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