Informal seminar: Relationship between satellite estimates of ocean skin temperature and in-situ bulk observations

by Gary Corlett (EUMETSAT)


Measurements of the ocean surface using infrared (IR) radiometers can provide an estimate of the sea surface skin temperature (SSTskin), which at a depth of several micrometres is as close to the atmosphere-ocean interface as is currently practical to measure. The first Copernicus Sentinel-3A Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR-A) was launched on 16th February 2016 and SLSTR-A was joined in orbit by its twin, SLSTR-B, on 25th April 2018. The SLSTRs are multi-spectral dual-view IR radiometers with two on-board blackbodies and cooled detectors ensuring accurate radiometric measurements. This presentation will summarise how the SLSTR SSTskin measurements are validated using a range of in situ measurements at various depths including Argo floats, drifting buoys (including those from the Copernicus TRUSTED project) and SSTskin measurements from IR radiometers mounted on ships of opportunity. The combination of in situ measurements and Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRM) provides high confidence in the quality of all datasets, as well as models of the skin-layer and diurnal variability employed to adjust the temperature measurements across various depths.