THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
DomainAtmosphericDescriptionTemperature is one of the fundamental state variables for which observation is essential for understanding and predicting the behaviour of the atmosphere. It is basic to the energy budget of the climate system as a whole through the temperature-dependence of the longwave radiation of energy from the atmosphere to space. Upper-air observations are of key importance for detecting and attributing climate change in the troposphere and stratosphere. They are needed for the development and evaluation of climate models, and for the initialization of forecasts. They are also needed for characterising the extratropical atmospheric circulation, which is often done using analyses of geopotential height rather than wind. Variations in temperature influence the formation of clouds and precipitation and the rates of chemical reactions, thereby influencing the hydrological and constituent cycles. Data on temperature are also crucial for understanding radiatively important changes in water vapour and cloud in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Temperature affects in particular the formation of polar stratospheric clouds and consequential ozone loss. [GCOS-195 4.5.1]
Full NameTemperature
Satellite Signficant ContributionYes
GCOS Actions
DescriptionWhoTime FramePerformance IndicatorCost Implications
Ensure the continued derivation of MSU-like radiance data, and establish FCDRs from the high- resolution IR sounders, following the GCMPs.Space agencies.ContinuingQuality and quantity of data; availability of data and products.1-10M US$ (for generation of datasets, assuming missions, including overlap and launch-on-failure policies, are funded for other operational purposes) (Mainly by Annex-I Parties).
Ensure the continuity of the constellation of GNSS RO satellites.Space agencies.Ongoing; replacement for current COSMIC constellation needs to be approved urgently to avoid or minimise a data gap.Volume of data available and percentage of data exchanged.10-30M US$ (Mainly by Annex-I Parties).
*GCOS-195 Status Categories: Category A: Action completed, perhaps exceeding reasonable expectations. Very good progress on ongoing tasks. Category B: Action largely completed according to expectation. Good progress on ongoing tasks. Category C: Moderate progress overall, although progress may be good for some part of the action. Category D: Limited progress overall, although progress may be moderate or good for some part of the action. Category E: Very little or no progress, or deterioration rather than progress.
GCOS Products
Related Measurements/
from CEOS DB
A.3.1Upper-air temperature retrievalsTropospheric temperature profile
Stratospheric temperature profile
Temperature of deep atmospheric layers
Atmospheric temperature (column/profile)
Temperature of tropopause
Freezing level height
Melting layer depth in clouds
A.3.2Temperature of deep atmospheric layersTropospheric temperature profile
Stratospheric temperature profile
Temperature of deep atmospheric layers
Atmospheric temperature (column/profile)
Temperature of tropopause
Freezing level height
Melting layer depth in clouds
CEOS Response[A20 (A.3.2)]

2015 Update: Derived MSU-like radiance data include two types of products: recalibrated/inter-calibrated swath radiance FCDRs and channel-based atmospheric layer mean temperature TCDRs derived from averaging swath radiances over grid cells. Observations from four microwave and infrared temperature sounders including MSU (microwave), AMSU (microwave), SSU (infrared), and ATMS (microwave) onboard historical and currently operating polar orbiting satellites from NOAA, NASA EOS, and European MetOp were used in these developments. Three organizations were involved in developing the products in which NOAA is a lead agency developing both MSU- like FCDRs and TCDRs. The other two agencies, UAH and RSS, focused on deriving TCDRs. Some products were developed by all three agencies which are not only used for climate change monitoring and investigations, but also for mutual validation for improvement of merging algorithms. On the other hand, some other products (e.g., SSU related products) may have been developed by only one agency. Specific deliverables were proposed in the implementation plans for the period of 2010-2015 including both atmospheric temperature TCDRs (specific deliverable #1) radiance FCDRs (specific deliverable #2) development. Many accomplishments were achieved during this period and below are a summary based on proposed products. ... more ...

[A21 (A.3.1)]

2015 Update: U.S. agencies and Taiwan have decided to move forward with a follow-on RO mission (called FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2) that will launch six satellites into low-inclination orbits in late 2015, and another six satellites into high-inclination orbits in early 2018. U.S. agencies, lead by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are now actively partnering with Taiwan's National Space Organization (NSPO) to execute the COSMIC-2 program. The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) RO payload, named TGRS for TriG (Tri-GNSS) GNSS Radio-occultation System, is being developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and will be capable of tracking up to 12,000 high-quality profiles per day after both constellations are fully deployed.

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