Design, develop, build and run a sustainable system to create a global daily near-surface air temperature data set from 1850 with consistent uncertainty information.
EUSTACE addressed the key transformational challenge in utilising Earth Observation surface skin temperature data, namely the derivation of surface air temperature consistently across all surfaces of Earth from land and lakes to ocean and ice. Surface air temperature is not observed directly by satellite instruments and, therefore, innovative advances were needed to derive it. The value of such a step forward is in the availability of novel data sets that climate models, including Earth System models, can utilise directly.
Seven top level objectives:
In order to achieve this overall aim, EUSTACE had seven top-level objectives:
- Intensively develop the hitherto immature use of Earth Observation estimates of Earth’s surface skin temperature to enable new Climate Data Records of the surface air temperature Essential Climate Variable (ECV) to be created, for all locations over all surfaces of Earth (i.e. land, ocean, ice and lakes), for every day since 1850. EUSTACE achieved this by: combining information estimated from multiple satellites with surface air temperature measurements made in situ and creating complete analyses of surface air temperature, through the application of novel statistical in-filling methods.
- Integrate these new daily surface air temperature Climate Data Records into a range of applications in Earth System Science and Climate Services and research, amongst others. EUSTACE achieved this via the active and continuous engagement of trail-blazer users and the provision of products through already-existing user community data portals and service mechanisms in standard formats.
- Undertake and report detailed research into the relationships between surface skin temperature estimated from Earth Observation satellite measurements and surface air temperature observed in situ by conventional measurements over all surfaces of the Earth, including the polar regions. This is likely to provide information useful for refining coupling in Earth system models.
- Create a sustainable, automated system at an appropriate level of maturity for the potential production of the products beyond the lifetime of the project. To enable this, EUSTACE will also identify Earth Observation and conventional data streams that could be used to update the surface air temperature Climate Data Records in the future, including those from Sentinel missions.
- Extensively validate the new surface air temperature Climate Data Records against independent, surface-based reference data, sourced by the project for this purpose.
- Develop and report new, consistent and validated estimates of uncertainty both in already-existing Earth Observation surface skin temperature estimates and in the new surface air temperature Climate Data Records at all locations and times across the Earth’s surface.
- Develop links with related activities within Europe and beyond to help to ensure the execution of a joined-up work programme, the Copernicus Services and to enable the provision of requirements for the future surface skin temperature and surface air temperature observing system.