Consistency of satellite climate data records for Earth system monitoring

Type Article
Date 2020-11
Language English
Author(s) Popp Thomas1, Hegglin Michaela I.2, Hollmann Rainer3, Ardhuin FabriceORCID4, Bartsch Annett5, Bastos Ana6, Bennett Victoria7, Boutin Jacqueline8, Brockmann Carsten9, Buchwitz Michael10, Chuvieco Emilio11, Ciais Philippe12, Dorigo Wouter13, Ghent Darren14, Jones Richard15, Lavergne Thomas16, Merchant Christopher J.2, 17, Meyssignac Benoit18, Paul Frederic19, Quegan Shaun20, Sathyendranath Shubha21, Scanlon Tracy13, Schröder Marc3, Simis Stefan G. H.21, Willén Ulrika22
Affiliation(s) 1 : German Aerospace Center (DLR), Wessling, Germany
2 : University of Reading, Reading, UK
3 : Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), Offenbach, Germany
4 : Lab. of Ocean Physics and Satellite oceanography, Ifremer, Plouzané, France
5 : b.geos GmbH, Korneuburg, Austria
6 : Dept. Of Geography, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, Germany
7 : Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, UK and National Centre for Earth Observation, UK
8 : Sorbonne Université, CNRS, IRD, MNHN, Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat: Expérimentations et Approches Numériques (LOCEAN), Paris, France
9 : Brockmann Consult GmbH, Hamburg, Germany
10 : Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
11 : Environmental Remote Sensing, University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Spain
12 : IPSL – LSCE, Gif sur Yvette, France
13 : TU Wien, Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Vienna, Austria
14 : National Centre for Earth Observation, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
15 : Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
16 : Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
17 : National Centre for Earth Observation, University of Reading, Reading, UK
18 : LEGOS CNES, CNRS, IRD, Université de Toulouse, Toulouse, France
19 : Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
20 : School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
21 : Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, UK
22 : Swedish Hydrological and Meteorological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
Source Bulletin Of The American Meteorological Society (0003-0007) (American Meteorological Society), 2020-11 , Vol. 101 , N. 11 , P. E1948-E1971
DOI 10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0127.1
WOS© Times Cited 21

Climate Data Records (CDRs) of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) as defined by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) derived from satellite instruments help to characterize the main components of the Earth system, to identify the state and evolution of its processes, and to constrain the budgets of key cycles of water, carbon and energy. The Climate Change Initiative (CCI) of the European Space Agency (ESA) coordinates the derivation of CDRs for 21 GCOS ECVs. The combined use of multiple ECVs for Earth system science applications requires consistency between and across their respective CDRs. As a comprehensive definition for multi-ECV consistency is missing so far, this study proposes defining consistency on three levels: (1) consistency in format and metadata to facilitate their synergetic use (technical level); (2) consistency in assumptions and auxiliary datasets to minimize incompatibilities among datasets (retrieval level); and (3) consistency between combined or multiple CDRs within their estimated uncertainties or physical constraints (scientific level).

Analysing consistency between CDRs of multiple quantities is a challenging task and requires coordination between different observational communities, which is facilitated by the CCI program. The inter-dependencies of the satellite-based CDRs derived within the CCI program are analysed to identify where consistency considerations are most important. The study also summarizes measures taken in CCI to ensure consistency on the technical level, and develops a concept for assessing consistency on the retrieval and scientific levels in the light of underlying physical knowledge. Finally, this study presents the current status of consistency between the CCI CDRs and future efforts needed to further improve it.

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Popp Thomas, Hegglin Michaela I., Hollmann Rainer, Ardhuin Fabrice, Bartsch Annett, Bastos Ana, Bennett Victoria, Boutin Jacqueline, Brockmann Carsten, Buchwitz Michael, Chuvieco Emilio, Ciais Philippe, Dorigo Wouter, Ghent Darren, Jones Richard, Lavergne Thomas, Merchant Christopher J., Meyssignac Benoit, Paul Frederic, Quegan Shaun, Sathyendranath Shubha, Scanlon Tracy, Schröder Marc, Simis Stefan G. H., Willén Ulrika (2020). Consistency of satellite climate data records for Earth system monitoring. Bulletin Of The American Meteorological Society, 101(11), E1948-E1971. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :