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CEOS EO HANDBOOK – MEASUREMENTS
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Atmospheric Temperature Fields


With humidity, atmospheric temperature profile data are a core requirement for weather forecasting and are coordinated within the framework of CGMS (The Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites). The data are used for numerical weather prediction (NWP), for monitoring inter-annual global temperature changes, for identifying correlations between atmospheric parameters and climatic behaviour, and for validating global models of the atmosphere.
Detailed MeasurementDescription*InstrumentsTimeline
Atmospheric pressure (over land surface)Pressure caused by the weight of the atmosphere. At sea level it has a mean value of one atmosphere but reduces with increasing altitude. Conventionally measured at 2 m height. [Unit of measurement - hPa]6 instruments
Atmospheric pressure (over sea surface)Pressure caused by the weight of the atmosphere. At sea level it has a mean value of one atmosphere but reduces with increasing altitude. Conventionally measured at 2 m height. [Unit of measurement - hPa]7 instruments
Atmospheric stability indexGeneric term to indicate a family of methods to infer thetemperature difference between an air parcel affected by vertical motion and the surrounding environment. Supportive of temperature profile and specific humidity profile). [Unit ofmeasurement - K]8 instruments
Atmospheric temperature (at surface) Conventionally measured at 2 m height. [Unit of measurement- K]5 instruments
Atmospheric temperature (column/profile)Vertical profile of the atmospheric temperature - Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) - Physical unit: [ K ] - Accuracy unit: [ K ].56 instruments
Cloud base heightHeight of the bottom surface of the cloud - Physical unit: [ km ] - Accuracy unit: [ km ].9 instruments
Height of the top of the Planetary Boundary LayerHeight of the surface separating the PBL from the free atmosphere - Physical unit: [ km ] - Accuracy unit: [ km ].0 instruments
Height of tropopauseHeight of the surface separating the troposphere from the stratosphere - Physical unit: [ km ] - Accuracy unit: [ km ].7 instruments
Temperature of tropopauseAtmospheric temperature at the height of the surface separating the troposphere from the stratosphere - Physical unit: [ K ] - Accuracy unit: [ K ].7 instruments
* Description adapted from WMO.
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