Evaluation of CAMEL over the Taklimakan Desert Using Field Observations
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Evaluation of CAMEL over the Taklimakan Desert Using Field Observations

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    Infrared (IR) land surface emissivity (LSE) plays an important role in numerical weather prediction (NWP) models through the satellite radiance assimilation. However, due to the large uncertainties in LSE over the desert, many land-surface sensitive channels of satellite IR sensors are not assimilated. This calls for further assessments of the quality of satellite-retrieved LSE in these desert regions. A set of LSE observations were made from field experiments conducted on 16–18 October 2013 along a south/north desert road in the Taklimakan Desert (TD), China. The observed LSEs (EOBS) are thus used in this study as the reference values to evaluate the quality of Combined ASTER MODIS Emissivity over Land (CAMEL) data. Analysis of these data shows four main results. First, the CAMEL datasets appear to sufficiently capture the spatial variations in LSE from the oasis to the hinterland of the TD (this is especially the case in the quartz reststrahlen band). From site 1 at the southern edge of the Taklimakan Desert to site 10 at the northern edge, the measured LSE and the corresponding CAMEL observation in the quartz reststrahlen band first decrease and reach their minimum around sites 4–6 in the hinterland of the Taklimakan Desert. Then, the LSE increases gradually and finally reaches its maximum at site 10, which has a clay ground surface, showing that the LSE is higher at the edges of the desert and lower in the center. Second, the CAMEL values at 11.3 μm have a zonal distribution characterized by a northeast–southwest strike, though such an artifact might have been introduced by ASTER LSE data during the merging process that created the CAMEL dataset. Third, the unrealistic variation of the original EOBS can be filtered out with useful signals, as identified by the first six principal components of the PCA conducted on the laboratory-measured hyperspectral emissivity spectra (ELAB). Fourth, the CAMEL results correlate well with the measured LSE at the 10 observation sites, with the observed LSE being slightly smaller than the CAMEL values in general.
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    Land, 12(6), 1232
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