Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-2016


A reliable estimate of emissivity is critical for a wide range of applications for the atmosphere, the biosphere, the lithosphere, the cryosphere, and the hydrosphere. This study uses three years (August 2012 – July 2015) of data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-2 (AMSR2) sensor that is onboard the Global Change Observation Mission 1st Water (GCOM-W1) satellite to explore estimates of instantaneous global land emissivity. A method is adopted to remove the known inconsistency in penetration depths between microwave brightness temperatures and infrared-based ancillary data that could cause differences between day and night emissivity estimates. After removing the diurnal atmospheric effects, the resulting retrieved cloud-free land emissivities realistically represent well-known large-scale features. As expected, the polarization differences of estimated emissivities show noticeable seasonal variations over the deciduous woodland and grassland regions due to changes in vegetation density. The potential of estimated emissivities for high-latitude snow detection and freeze/thaw states identification is also demonstrated.


This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, available at doi:10.1109/LGRS.2016.2581140.



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