Observations of the Infrared Radiative Properties of the Ocean–Implications for the Measurement of Sea Surface Temperature via Satellite Remote Sensing

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The Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) was used to measure the infrared radiative properties and the temperature of the Gulf of Mexico during a 5-day oceanographic cruise in January 1995. The ocean skin temperature was measured with an accuracy believed to be better than 0.1 °C. The surface reflectivity/emissivity was determined as a function of view angle and sea state. The radiative properties are in good theoretical consistency with in situ measurements of ocean bulk temperature and the meteorological observations made from the oceanographic vessel. The AERI and in situ measurements provide a strong basis for accurate global specifications of sea surface temperature and ocean heat flux from satellites and ships.

*University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.

+University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.

#Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York.

@Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C.

&NOAA, National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service, Madison, Wisconsin.

Corresponding author address: William L. Smith, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1225 West Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706.

The Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) was used to measure the infrared radiative properties and the temperature of the Gulf of Mexico during a 5-day oceanographic cruise in January 1995. The ocean skin temperature was measured with an accuracy believed to be better than 0.1 °C. The surface reflectivity/emissivity was determined as a function of view angle and sea state. The radiative properties are in good theoretical consistency with in situ measurements of ocean bulk temperature and the meteorological observations made from the oceanographic vessel. The AERI and in situ measurements provide a strong basis for accurate global specifications of sea surface temperature and ocean heat flux from satellites and ships.

*University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.

+University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.

#Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York.

@Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C.

&NOAA, National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service, Madison, Wisconsin.

Corresponding author address: William L. Smith, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1225 West Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706.
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