Satellite Temperature Measurements

Satellite Temperature Measurements

The temperature of the atmosphere at various altitudes as well as sea and land surface temperatures can be inferred from satellite measurements. Weather satellites do not measure temperature directly but measure radiances in various wavelength bands. These measurements can be used to locate weather fronts, monitor the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, determine the strength of tropical cyclones, study urban heat islands and monitor the global climate. Wildfires, volcanos, and industrial hot spots can also be found via thermal imaging from weather satellites.

Since 1978 Microwave sounding units (MSUs) on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration polar orbiting satellites have measured the intensity of upwelling microwave radiation from atmospheric oxygen, which is proportional to the temperature of broad vertical layers of the atmosphere. Measurements of infrared radiation pertaining to sea surface temperature have been collected since 1967.

Satellite datasets show that over the past four decades the troposphere has warmed and the stratosphere has cooled. Both of these trends are consistent with the influence of increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases.

Read more about Satellite Temperature Measurements:  Measurement, Trends From The Record, Reconciliation With Climate Models

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