The Validation of Sea Surface Temperature Retrievals from Spaceborne Infrared Radiometers

  • Peter J. Minnett


The retrieval of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) from infrared satellite radiometers is a major success of the Oceanography from Space endeavor over several decades. Many applications of the SST fields derived from satellites requires knowledge of the characteristics of the uncertainties in the absolute values of the retrievals. These uncertainties are best determined by comparisons with independent measurements of SST. At the currently demonstrable accuracies, failure to take into account the near-surface temperature gradients introduces a significant contribution to the uncertainty budget attributed to the satellite retrievals. Here we review the approaches of validating SST retrievals using in situ measurements from buoys and radiometers on ships, and present current estimates of the uncertainties in the SSTs derived from several of the commonly used sensors.


Infrared Radiometer Atmospheric Correction Algorithm Satellite Radiometer Atmospheric Transmission Window Atmospheric Path Length 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The support of NASA over many years is gratefully acknowledged as it has facilitated much of the work that is included here. Discussions with many colleagues have helped clarify the issues involved in the physics of the measurements and in the approaches to SST validation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Meteorology and Physical OceanographyRosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of MiamiMiamiUSA

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