Global surface net-radiation at 5 km from MODIS Terra
Published Web Locationhttp://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/8/9/739/htm
Reliable and fine resolution estimates of surface net-radiation are required for estimating latent and sensible heat fluxes between the land surface and the atmosphere. However, currently, fine resolution estimates of net-radiation are not available and consequently it is challenging to develop multi-year estimates of evapotranspiration at scales that can capture land surface heterogeneity and are relevant for policy and decision-making. We developed and evaluated a global net-radiation product at 5 km and 8-day resolution by combining mutually consistent atmosphere and land data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board Terra. Comparison with net-radiation measurements from 154 globally distributed sites (414 site-years) from the FLUXNET and Surface Radiation budget network (SURFRAD) showed that the net-radiation product agreed well with measurements across seasons and climate types in the extratropics (Wilmott's index ranged from 0.74 for boreal to 0.63 for Mediterranean sites). Mean absolute deviation between the MODIS and measured net-radiation ranged from 38.0 ± 1.8 W.m-2 in boreal to 72.0 ± 4.1 W.m-2 in the tropical climates. The mean bias was small and constituted only 11%, 0.7%, 8.4%, 4.2%, 13.3%, and 5.4% of the mean absolute error in daytime net-radiation in boreal, Mediterranean, temperate-continental, temperate, semi-arid, and tropical climate, respectively. To assess the accuracy of the broader spatiotemporal patterns, we upscaled error-quantified MODIS net-radiation and compared it with the net-radiation estimates from the coarse spatial (1° x 1°) but high temporal resolution gridded net-radiation product from the Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES). Our estimates agreed closely with the net-radiation estimates from the CERES. Difference between the two was less than 10W.m-22 in 94% of the total land area. MODIS net-radiation product will be a valuable resource for the science community studying turbulent fluxes and energy budget at the Earth's surface.