A reference quality model for ocean surface emissivity and backscatter from the microwave to the infrared

Satellite observations are vital for the initialisation of Numerical Weather Prediction models, that are in turn essential for protection of life and property and minimising impact of dangerous weather events. They are also very important for climate monitoring and prediction, as well as other application areas such as hydrology and flood awareness prediction. It is not possible to sound the lower troposphere from space without accurate knowledge of the radiative contribution from the earth’s surface.

The European Commission Horizon2020 project, GAIA-CLIM, identified in Deliverable D6.11 that the lack of a reference quality ocean emission and backscatter model was a major gap in our ability to provide absolute calibration of the satellite based observing system.

The gap was also identified by the ECMWF-JCSDA radiance assimilation workshop in December 2015 and the 21st meeting of the International TOVS Working Group in December 2017.

This ISSI team aims to address this gap collaboratively. The priorities for the reference model are that it should be:

  • Maintained and supported;
  • Have traceable uncertainty estimation at each step;
  • Be documented code freely available to research community;
  • Have new science for IR to MW with BRDF capability;
  • Support passive and active applications.

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A short introductory video to the teams work is here.