Articles | Volume 16, issue 8
The Cryosphere, 16, 3051–3070, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-16-3051-2022
The Cryosphere, 16, 3051–3070, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-16-3051-2022
Research article
02 Aug 2022
Research article | 02 Aug 2022

Offset of MODIS land surface temperatures from in situ air temperatures in the upper Kaskawulsh Glacier region (St. Elias Mountains) indicates near-surface temperature inversions

Ingalise Kindstedt et al.

Data sets

MYD21 MODIS/Aqua Land Surface Temperature/3-Band Emissivity 5-Min L2 1km V006 G. Hulley https://doi.org/10.5067/MODIS/MYD21.006

MOD21 MODIS/Terra Land Surface Temperature/3-Band Emissivity 5-Min L2 1km V006 G. Hulley and S. Hook https://doi.org/10.5067/MODIS/MOD21.006

MODTBGA MODIS/Terra Thermal Bands Daily L2G-Lite Global 1km SIN Grid V006 L. Boschetti, E. Vermote, and R. Wolfe https://doi.org/10.5067/MODIS/MODTBGA.006

ASTER Level 2 Surface Temperature Product NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Spacesystems and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team https://doi.org/10.5067/ASTER/AST_08.003

ASTER Level 1 Precision Terrain Corrected Registered At-Sensor Radiance V003 NASA LP DAAC https://doi.org/10.5067/ASTER/AST_L1T.003

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Short summary
We show that neither the large spatial footprint of the MODIS sensor nor poorly constrained snow emissivity values explain the observed cold offset in MODIS land surface temperatures (LSTs) in the St. Elias. Instead, the offset is most prominent under conditions associated with near-surface temperature inversions. This work represents an advance in the application of MODIS LSTs to glaciated alpine regions, where we often depend solely on remote sensing products for temperature information.