Circumpolar Land Surface Temperature (LST), AATSR monthly (2005-2009)

Duguay, Claude R.; Soliman, Aiman; Hachem, Sonia; Saunders, William

The Land Surface Temperature (LST) products and services identified by users for the pan-Arctic (25 km resolution) scales include weekly and monthly averages from 2000 to 2010 from which annual averages can also be calculated. The LST processing integrates the LST level 2 products from MODIS and AATSR distributed by NASA and ESA, respectively. Post-processing functions supply University Waterloo-level-3 weekly and monthly LST products for regional (1 km) and pan-Arctic (25 km) scales. The panarctic product, with a spatial resolution of 25 km, is produced by spatial averaging of 1-km observations.

MOD11_L2 and MYD11_L2 LST (Version 5 from NASA Terra and Aqua satellites) and ATS_NR_2P (from ESA Envisat satellite) products at 1 km resolution are used as input data to generate pan-Arctic and regional products. The original geo-located LST observations are characterized by an irregular distribution based on the satellite orbits. The Northern Hemisphere EASE-Grid Lambert Equal Area Azimuthal projection with a sphere datum (with a radius of 6371.228 km) was selected as the standard projection for the operational pan-Arctic and regional products. Original MODIS and AATSR LST level 2 observations are projected using the EASE-Grid coordinate system and interpolated to a regular EASE-Grid with 1 km spacing using triangulation. The EASE-Grid projection was chosen since this is the system adopted by the GlobSnow project and for most snow and ice products distributed by NSIDC. Local time is calculated using UTC acquisition time and longitude. UTC is extracted from ADS information for AATSR data and from the file name of MODIS level 2 (Terra and Aqua) products, yielding a temporal accuracy of ± 15 minutes, which is found to be sufficient for weekly and monthly products.

Temporal aggregation is applied to both 1 km and 25 km data to produce weekly and monthly LST averages. Interpolated LST observations on a 1 km grid (regional product) and 25 km (pan-Arctic product) are aggregated into two bins; a day-time bin (from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time) and a night-time bin (6 p.m. to 6 a.m. of the next day) within the aggregation period (week or month). The definition of day and night does not take in account the notion of polar darkness and does not consider the seasonal changes of day length. It was defined to force final products to have an equal number of observations around the day. A mid range average is calculated by taking the day-time and night-time average to avoid daily diurnal fluctuations during the week or month of interest.

Known issues: the LST data are all measured during clear-sky conditions. The influence of clouds on surface temperature (e.g. temperature warmer under clouds in winter) is not reflected in the LSTs. This makes the LST colder than in reality due to the isolative effect of clouds.

Each LST file contains 6 bands: the datafiles 001 to 006, bands 001, 003, 005 are the LST averages and bands 002, 004, 006 are supplementary quality information.

This dataset is part of the ESA Data User Element (DUE) Permafrost Full Product Set.


Duguay, Claude R.

Metadata Access

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Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Identifier DOI:10.1594/PANGAEA.775962
Project(s) ESA DUE Permafrost
Institute University of Waterloo, Canada
Publication Date
Version 1.0
Product group
Product Land Surface Temperature
Sensor AATSR
  • 001 - Weekly or monthly aggregated average LST product based on equal weight of average day-time (003) and night-time (005) LST values
  • 002 - Number of LST cloud free observations falling into each pixel for the aggregation (weekly or monthly) period. Associated with LST file 001
  • 003 - Average day-time weekly or monthly LST based on all cloud free observations falling during 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time
  • 004 - Number of LST cloud free observations during day-time (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time) falling into each pixel. Associated with LST file 003
  • 005 - Average night-time weekly or monthly LST based on all cloud free observations falling into each pixel cell during 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time
  • 006 - Number of LST cloud free observations during night-time (6 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time) falling into each pixel. Associated with LST file 005
Variables [Units]
    Region Circum-Arctic
    Spatial Reference EPSG:3408 NSIDC EASE-Grid North
    Spatial Resolution 25 km
    Spatial Coverage
    Temporal Coverage
    Temporal Resolution
    Format Geotiff, netCDF

    Dataset extent

    Map tiles by Stamen Design, under CC BY 3.0. Data by OpenStreetMap, under CC BY SA.