Improving global estimates of land surface properties



[1] Large models often rely on numerical simplifications of complex or small-scale processes, usually because the underlying mechanisms are not well understood or direct observations are unavailable. The values for these parameterizations can be tuned to fit observations or estimated through an inversion process, in which measurements of one easily observable parameter are used to calculate a related, but more elusive, physical quantity. However, remotely sensed data are specific to each instrument, so it is crucial to ascertain whether a new sensor's data can be used with a model. Using the Joint Research Centre Two-stream Inversion Package (JRC-TIP) inversion model, Pinty et al. provide a method of transforming satellite measurements of surface albedo made by NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite into a physically consistent set of radiative and structural surface variable values suitable for assimilation into climate models. (Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, doi:10.1029/2010JD015372, 2011)