Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory
Title: Global scale estimation of land surface heat fluxes from space: current status, opportunities and future direction Authors
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 24, 2013
Publication Date: February 3, 2014
Citation: McCabe, M., Kustas, W.P., Anderson, M.C., Kiongoli, C., Ershadi, A., Hain, C. 2014. Global scale estimation of land surface heat fluxes from space: Current status, opportunities and future directions. In: Petropoulos, G.P., editor. Remote Sensing of Land Surface Turbulent Fluxes and Soil Moisture. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, CRC Press. p. 506. Technical Abstract: While considerable progress has been made in the development of global flux products from space, there remain a number of issues that either limit the application of these data to their fullest extent, or provide an inherent constraint on the accuracy achievable. This is particularly true when using remote sensing based information, but is also pertinent to those approaches driven by reanalysis or produced via other model based meteorological data streams or outputs, such as land surface, regional or global climate model simulations. These issues fall largely (but not exclusively) into two categories: 1) model physics and structural limitations (including the provision of information to drive the models); and 2) model assessment and interpretation of simulations. Even though we have current capacity to produce long time series of global flux retrievals, considerable research effort is required to assess and evaluate the fidelity of these simulations. Unfortunately, there is no strong foundation from which to undertake such product evaluation, particularly as relates to large scale and long time series products. The fact that there are no accepted set of tools with which to undertake such assessments further complicates the matter. Clearly there remain considerable challenges and uncertainties in the development of global flux retrievals – at least those in which some confidence in their accuracy can be placed. However, this is not to say that there are not also great opportunities that come from analyzing the global products generated by these models. The following contribution seeks to describe some of the key issues requiring consideration in the development and use of global surface flux retrievals. It also provides some comment on the opportunities and needed areas of research to advance our current capability. It is by no means an exhaustive examination, but represents an alternative perspective on some of the issues requiring attention, beyond those often discussed in the literature related to this topic.