Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


EUSTACE Report Summary

Project ID: 640171
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EUSTACE (EU Surface Temperature for All Corners of Earth)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2015-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

EUSTACE utilises Europe’s capacity for gathering space-borne observations of the skin temperature of all components of Earth’s surface by extracting the information contained in those estimates (or retrievals) relevant to providing estimates of surface air temperature. Surface air temperature is conventionally measured at often sparse meteorological (or weather) stations. Skin temperature is the temperature of the top few microns of the ground beneath our feet, of the ocean or of the polar ice caps and sea ice. EUSTACE will extract this information from the measurements from both operational and research satellites to enable estimates of surface air temperature to be made everywhere on Earth at higher spatial and temporal resolution than previously possible.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Work carried out in the first twelve months of EUSTACE has included:
• observational data (measured both by satellites and in situ) acquisition and centralisation on the project workspace at the Climate and Environmental Monitoring from Space (CEMS) facility in the UK;
• development and implementation of a model to consistently communicate uncertainties in retrievals of skin temperature from satellite measurements over ocean, land and ice;
• implementation of a method to detect non-climatic breaks in daily surface air temperature measurements made at meteorological stations worldwide;
• analysis of the relationship between surface skin temperature and surface air temperature over different surfaces and at different times of year, with a view to using this knowledge to estimate air temperature from skin temperature;
• design of products, informed by user requirements gathered from interactions with various potential users;
• initial planning of the end-to-end system, particularly with regard to quality assurance of EUSTACE products;
• development of statistical models to allow the production of globally complete daily analyses of surface air temperature, including analyses of daily maximum and minimum temperature over land;
• development of a match-up data base to allow the validation of EUSTACE products by comparison to independent reference data measured in situ;
• engagement of a developing user community, including so-called “trail blazer” users who will be involved in the design and testing of products;
• communication of EUSTACE aims and progress to various international conferences and workshops; and
• development of the EUSTACE website.

Key findings so far:
• A consistent model for uncertainties in skin temperature retrievals from satellite measurements across all surfaces (land, ocean and ice) has been developed and implemented to produce, for the first time, such uncertainties split into components arising from errors with different spatio-temporal correlation structures. Validation by comparison to independent reference data is currently underway;
• User requirements analysis has led to the decision to produce daily maximum and minimum air temperature estimates over land, in addition to daily mean temperatures over all surfaces;
• Following an initial assessment of the relationship between skin and air temperature, satellite retrievals have been used to estimate air temperature over land and ocean to produce a first test data set. Evaluation of this test data set is currently underway;
• A method for the detection of non-climatic breaks in daily surface air temperature measurements at meteorological stations has been implemented and proven over two challenging regions: the Balkans and Bolivia.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

A number of data products are ultimately foreseen from the EUSTACE project:
• Satellite skin temperature retrievals (from other projects) for all surfaces of Earth but with new, consistent uncertainty estimates across surfaces, as mentioned above;
• Homogenised (i.e. with the impacts of non-climatic breaks removed) meteorological station records of daily surface air temperature measurements for Europe;
• Global data set of daily surface air temperature measurements from meteorological stations with discontinuities in each station record identified, where possible;
• An in-filled analysis of European daily surface air temperature since 1951;
• Daily surface air temperature estimates (with estimates of uncertainty) for all surfaces of Earth, derived from satellite surface skin temperature retrievals; and
• Globally-complete daily analyses of surface air temperature (with estimates of uncertainty) for the whole of Earth since 1850, based on combined information from satellite and in situ data sources.

In addition EUSTACE will produce:
• A surface air temperature match-up data base for inter-comparison of different surface temperature products;
• User requirements reports;
• Product user guides; and
• Peer-reviewed journal articles.

As surface air temperature has an impact on much of what we do day-to-day, in providing these estimates of surface air temperature everywhere on Earth, EUSTACE will innovatively help to enable Europe (and other countries worldwide) to address several key societal challenges, i.e.:
• Health, demographic change and wellbeing (through the provision of information important to health research via, for example, the links between surface air temperature and diseases, or the impacts of heat stress);
• Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime inland water research, and the bioeconomy (through the provision of information important to agricultural and forestry research, via the links between surface air temperature and crop growth and the provision of information on near-surface temperature gradients, which control surface fluxes of heat and gases);
• Secure, clean and efficient energy (through the provision of information important to enable understanding of the efficiency of renewable energy generation, e.g. using solar panels whose efficiency can be compromised by high temperatures);
• Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials (through the provision of information, e.g.: understanding past surface air temperature variability, ranges and extremes, important to understanding how to develop infrastructure robust to climate variability); and
• Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens (through the provision of information important to understanding surface air temperature impacts on resilience to natural disasters and to understanding potential future climate-related events affecting citizens of other parts of the world).

The spatio-temporal resolution of the information provided by EUSTACE will also facilitate the assessment of the accuracy of many of the other infrastructure components needed to provide information on climate variability and change, such as seasonal-to-decadal forecasting systems, dynamical reanalysis (combination of observations with a state-of-the-art physical model to provide information on past weather and climate), Earth System models, and climate impacts advice. This will then lead to better models for forecasting on different time scales.

Image attached:

Caption: EUSTACE will use the relationships between Ice Surface Temperature (IST), Land Surface Temperature (LST), Land Surface Air Temperature (LSAT), Sea Surface Temperature (SST), Marine Air Temperature (MAT) and Lake Surface Water Temperature (LSWT) to combine these different types of measurement to produce globally complete daily analyses of surface air temperature over all surfaces. Figure taken from Merchant et al., 2013.

Reference: Merchant, C.J., et al (2013) “The surface temperatures of Earth: steps towards integrated understanding of variability and change.” Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 2, 305-321, doi:10.5194/gi-2-305-2013

Related information

Record Number: 186399 / Last updated on: 2016-07-11