SMOS brightness temperature forward modelling and long term monitoring at ECMWF

de Rosnay, Patricia ; Muñoz-Sabater, Joaquín ; Albergel, Clément ; Isaksen, Lars ; English, Stephen ; Drusch, Matthias ; Wigneron, Jean-Pierre

Année de publication
<p align=justify>This paper presents the forward modelling aspects of the SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) activities at ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts). Several parameterizations of the Community Microwave Emission Modelling Platform (CMEM) are used to simulate L-band Brightness Temperatures (TBs) and compared to the SMOS TBs for 2010-2011. We show that simulated TBs are primarily sensitive, by order of importance, to the soil roughness model, the vegetation opacity and the soil dielectric model. In particular, best CMEM results are obtained with the simple Wigneron soil roughness model and the Wigneron model for the vegetation opacity. For the soil dielectric model, performances of the Wang and Schmugge and the Mironov models are shown to be similar and better than the Dobson model. The Wang and Schmugge model is then used in the next steps of this paper combined with the Wigneron roughness and vegetation models. The paper describes a multi-angular multi-polarised bias correction method based on a linear rescaling (mean and variance) computed at the monthly scale using SMOS observations and ECMWF-CMEM re-analysed TBs for a four year period (2010-2013). Results show that for 2010-2013 the seasonal multi-angular multi-polarisation bias correction approach reduces global RMSE to 7.91 K, compared to 16.7 K before bias correction, whereas the mean absolute bias is reduced to 1.39 K, compared to 11.04 K before bias correction. The consistency between the seasonality of simulated and the observed TBs is also improved by using a monthly bias correction, leading to correlation values improvement to 0.62 after bias correction compared to 0.56 before. The 2010-2013 bias correction applied to the 2014-2016 period at 40° incidence reduces the global RMSE from 15.56 K to 8.19 K, and the mean absolute bias from 10.16 K to 2.51 K, with no impact on the correlation values that remain at 0.61 in both cases. Long term monitoring of SMOS TB is presented covering a 7-year period (2010-2016) at both polarisations, at 40° incidence angle. Results show that the consistency between SMOS and ECMWF reanalysis-based TBs progressively improved between 2010 and 2016, pointing out improvements of level 1 SMOS TB products quality through the SMOS lifetime.</p>
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