National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2015

Validation of AMSR2 sea surface wind and temperature over the Kuroshio Extension region

Tomita, H., Y. Kawai, M.F. Cronin, T. Hihara, and M. Kubota

Scientific Online Letters on the Atmosphere, 11, 43–47, doi: 10.2151/sola.2015-010 (2015)

The Global Change Observation Mission-Water “Shizuku” (GCOM-W) satellite, with a newly developed microwave radiometer: Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-2 (AMSR2) developed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, was launched successfully in May 2012. The standard geophysical products of AMSR2/GCOM-W were released a year after launch date. Here, we use data from three buoys moored in the Kuroshio Extension region to test the accuracy of AMSR2 sea surface temperature (SST) and near surface wind speed (SSW). The Kuroshio Extension region is subject to large multi-scale variability and intense air-sea interaction and thus provides a challenging test for the satellite sensor. From the year-long comparison, we confirm that the root mean square difference (RMSD) of AMSR2 SST observations was 0.75°C and meets the criterion for release accuracy (0.8°C). On the other hand, the RMSD of SSW was 1.6 m s−1, slightly worse than the criterion (1.5 m s−1), suggesting that the algorithm for SSW needs to be further improved. The analysis also showed that seasonal variations and characteristics of the relationship between SST and SSW are similar to those observed by previous satellite sensor (AMSR-E). Overall, the results give confidence that AMSR2 products can be used for many air-sea interaction, climate, and water cycle studies.

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