Relationship between error in AVHRR-derived sea surface temperature and the TOMS aerosol index

J. P. Diaz, M. Arbelo, F. J. Expósito, G. Podestá, J. M. Prospero, R. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


We investigate the effects of various types of atmospheric aerosols on satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST) retrievals. The association between aerosol presence identified by the Earth Probe Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) aerosol index (AI) and systematic errors in Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Pathfinder SST retrievals is explored. We find a significant increase in systematic PFSST errors in the presence of dust aerosols. Average errors range from 0.34°C for AI values between 0.5 and 1.0 to 1.74°C for AI≥1.5. The bias is introduced by the AVHRR channel brightness temperature difference (T4 - T5) which is intended to correct for atmospheric absorption normally due primarily to water vapor. Our study shows that (T4 - T5) is sensitive to the dust aerosols (i.e., TOMS AI values). In contrast, smoke aerosols do not seem to have a significant effect on PFSST errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1989-1992
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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