Achieving satellite instrument calibration for climate change



For the most part, satellite observations of climate are not presently sufficiently accurate to establish a climate record that is indisputable and hence capable of determining whether and at what rate the climate is changing. Furthermore, they are insufficient for establishing a baseline for testing long-term trend predictions of climate models. Satellite observations do provide a clear picture of the relatively large signals associated with interannual climate variations such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and they have also been used to diagnose gross inadequacies of climate models, such as their cloud generation schemes. However, satellite contributions to measuring long-term change have been limited and, at times, controversial, as in the case of differing atmospheric temperature trends derived from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) microwave radiometers.