The accuracy of SST retrievals from AATSR: An initial assessment through geophysical validation against in situ radiometers, buoys and other SST data sets

G. K. Corlett, I. J. Barton, C. J. Donlon, M. C. Edwards, S. A. Good, L. A. Horrocks, D. T. Llewellyn-Jones, C. J. Merchant, P. J. Minnett, T. J. Nightingale, E. J. Noyes, A. G. O'Carroll, J. J. Remedios, I. S. Robinson, R. W. Saunders, J. G. Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) was launched on Envisat in March 2002. The AATSR instrument is designed to retrieve precise and accurate global sea surface temperature (SST) that, combined with the large data set collected from its predecessors, ATSR and ATSR-2, will provide a long term record of SST data that is greater than 15 years. This record can be used for independent monitoring and detection of climate change. The AATSR validation programme has successfully completed its initial phase. The programme involves validation of the AATSR derived SST values using in situ radiometers, in situ buoys and global SST fields from other data sets. The results of the initial programme presented here will demonstrate that the AATSR instrument is currently close to meeting its scientific objectives of determining global SST to an accuracy of 0.3 K (one sigma). For night time data, the analysis gives a warm bias of between +0.04 K (0.28 K) for buoys to +0.06 K (0.20 K) for radiometers, with slightly higher errors observed for day time data, showing warm biases of between +0.02 (0.39 K) for buoys to +0.11 K (0.33 K) for radiometers. They show that the ATSR series of instruments continues to be the world leader in delivering accurate space-based observations of SST, which is a key climate parameter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-769
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

Keywords

  • ATSR
  • Climate change
  • Remote sensing
  • SST
  • Sea surface temperature
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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    Corlett, G. K., Barton, I. J., Donlon, C. J., Edwards, M. C., Good, S. A., Horrocks, L. A., Llewellyn-Jones, D. T., Merchant, C. J., Minnett, P. J., Nightingale, T. J., Noyes, E. J., O'Carroll, A. G., Remedios, J. J., Robinson, I. S., Saunders, R. W., & Watts, J. G. (2006). The accuracy of SST retrievals from AATSR: An initial assessment through geophysical validation against in situ radiometers, buoys and other SST data sets. Advances in Space Research, 37(4), 764-769. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2005.09.037