Globally Gridded Satellite Observations for Climate Studies

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  • 1 NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina;
  • | 2 University of California at Irvine, Irvine, California
  • | 3 Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
  • | 4 Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, The University at Albany/State University of New York, Albany, New York
  • | 5 USGS Center for Earth Resource Observations and Science, Santa Barbara, California;
  • | 6 University of North Carolina Asheville, Asheville, North Carolina
  • | 7 Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • | 8 Science Systems and Applications, Inc., and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • | 9 NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina;
  • | 10 Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
  • | 11 Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, KlimaCampus, Hamburg, Germany
  • | 12 University of California at Irvine, Irvine, California
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Geostationary satellites have provided routine, high temporal resolution Earth observations since the 1970s. Despite the long period of record, use of these data in climate studies has been limited for numerous reasons, among them that no central archive of geostationary data for all international satellites exists, full temporal and spatial resolution data are voluminous, and diverse calibration and navigation formats encumber the uniform processing needed for multisatellite climate studies. The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) set the stage for overcoming these issues by archiving a subset of the full-resolution geostationary data at ~10-km resolution at 3-hourly intervals since 1983. Recent efforts at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center to provide convenient access to these data include remapping the data to a standard map projection, recalibrating the data to optimize temporal homogeneity, extending the record of observations back to 1980, and reformatting the data for broad public distribution. The Gridded Satellite (GridSat) dataset includes observations from the visible, infrared window, and infrared water vapor channels. Data are stored in Network Common Data Format (netCDF) using standards that permit a wide variety of tools and libraries to process the data quickly and easily. A novel data layering approach, together with appropriate satellite and file metadata, allows users to access GridSat data at varying levels of complexity based on their needs. The result is a climate data record already in use by the meteorological community. Examples include reanalysis of tropical cyclones, studies of global precipitation, and detection and tracking of the intertropical convergence zone.

Current affiliations: Bain—Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom; Dickinson—WeatherPredict Consulting, Wakefield, Rhode Island; Helms—The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

Geostationary satellites have provided routine, high temporal resolution Earth observations since the 1970s. Despite the long period of record, use of these data in climate studies has been limited for numerous reasons, among them that no central archive of geostationary data for all international satellites exists, full temporal and spatial resolution data are voluminous, and diverse calibration and navigation formats encumber the uniform processing needed for multisatellite climate studies. The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) set the stage for overcoming these issues by archiving a subset of the full-resolution geostationary data at ~10-km resolution at 3-hourly intervals since 1983. Recent efforts at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center to provide convenient access to these data include remapping the data to a standard map projection, recalibrating the data to optimize temporal homogeneity, extending the record of observations back to 1980, and reformatting the data for broad public distribution. The Gridded Satellite (GridSat) dataset includes observations from the visible, infrared window, and infrared water vapor channels. Data are stored in Network Common Data Format (netCDF) using standards that permit a wide variety of tools and libraries to process the data quickly and easily. A novel data layering approach, together with appropriate satellite and file metadata, allows users to access GridSat data at varying levels of complexity based on their needs. The result is a climate data record already in use by the meteorological community. Examples include reanalysis of tropical cyclones, studies of global precipitation, and detection and tracking of the intertropical convergence zone.

Current affiliations: Bain—Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom; Dickinson—WeatherPredict Consulting, Wakefield, Rhode Island; Helms—The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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