[1] An accurate value of the effective temperature is critical for soil emissivity retrieval, and hence soil moisture content retrieval, from passive microwave observations. Computation of the effective temperature needs fine profile measurements of soil temperature and soil moisture. The availability of a two year long data set of these surface variables from SMOSREX (Surface Monitoring Of the Soil Reservoir EXperiment) makes it possible to study the effective temperature at the seasonal to interannual scale. This study shows that present parameterizations do not adequately describe the seasonal variations in sensing depth. Therefore, a new parameterization is proposed that is stable at the seasonal to interannual scales while retaining simplicity.