Principal Investigator (PI): Eric Vermote, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

The overall objective of this project is to produce, validate, and distribute a global land surface climate data record (CDR) using a combination of mature and tested algorithms and the best available polar-orbiting satellite data from 1981 to the present, which can be extended into the National Polar-orbiting Operational Satellite System-Joint Polar Satellite System (NPOESS-JPSS) era.

The data record will consist of one fundamental climate data record (FCDR), the surface reflectance product. Three Thematic CDR’s (TCDRs) will also be derived from the FCDR, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Leaf Area Index (LAI), fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (fAPAR), and the albedo. These products are used extensively for climate change research and are listed as Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). In addition, these products are used in a number of applications of long-term societal benefit.

The record will use the best available data, addressing the dynamic data continuity of the input observations, which will be primarily from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) with differing spatial resolutions of 4 km Global Area Coverage (GAC) (1981–present), 250 m to 1 km MODIS (2000–present), and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, 2011–present. Adding Suomi NPP VIIRS to the record prepares the foundation for extending the long-term record into the operational VIIRS in the JPSS era. The resulting product will be a consistent forty-year climate data record from 1981 to 2021.

A series of focused workshops with known and potential users will help in the process of building a broad community consensus for the FCDR. The availability of the MODIS and AERONET record for intercomparison and the reuse of the MODIS Processing and Quality Assurance approaches are key to producing a long-term data record from AVHRR and MODIS. Special attention will be paid to product validation and developing realistic uncertainties needed for optimal exploitation of TCDRs. The validation will be linked to and benefit from previous and on-going international validation activities of the CEOS Land Product Validation Working Group. The data distribution will be undertaken by the MODIS Adaptive Processing System (MODAPS) group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center utilizing the Land and Atmospheres Archive and Distribution System DAAC (LAADS DAAC).

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