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Land Surface Temperature CCI project


Land Surface Temperature (LST) is an important variable within the Earth climate system. It describes processes such as the exchange of energy and water between the land surface and atmosphere, and influences the rate and timing of plant growth.

Accurately understanding LST at the global and regional level helps to evaluate land surface–atmosphere exchange processes in models and, when combined with other physical properties such as vegetation and soil moisture, provides a valuable metric of surface state.

LST also provides independent temperature data to complement in situ measurements and reanalysis associated with near-surface air temperature – a fundamental target outlined in the UNFCCC Paris agreement.

The LST_cci aims to provide an accurate view of temperatures across land surfaces globally over the past 20 to 25 years and meet the requirements of Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)  for climate applications by developing techniques to merge archived data from a variety of satellites into a combined long-term satellite record for climate. 


The ultimate objective of LST_cci is to provide the following results:

  • An expected accuracy and precision of all the LST ECV Products of < 1 K
  • first assessment of the stability of LST ECV Products
  • first global LST CDR with record length over 25 years
  • first passive microwave time series with record length of over 20 years
  • Intercalibration and time difference corrections of level-1 data for CDRs
  • Retrieval algorithm consistency across LST ECV products and CDRs
  • Consistency of uncertainty approach
  • Optimisation of best cloud clearing detection across new sensors
  • Demonstration of seamless end-to-end LST ECV production for complete multi-mission archives
  • Fully independent and rigorous product validation and intercomparison extended to new sites and external datasets
  • Publications in world-leading journals demonstrating climate application exploitation of LST ECV Products
  • Significantly increase maturity levels of all LST ECV Products

Latest news 


SL_2_LST NTC products delivered as PDUs


Since the beginning of the S3 mission, the SL_2_LST products were delivered as 3-minute product for NRT, and as a full orbit product for NTC. Many users have asked for having both delivered as 3-minute product in order to have an easier handling of NTC products.

This is effective since the 5th of May 2020 and the first products for S3A and S3B respectively produced in this new configuration are:

  • S3A_SL_2_LST____20200503T082839_20200503T083039_20200505T001017_0120_058_007_1440_LN2_O_NT_004.SEN3
  • S3B_SL_2_LST____20200503T074921_20200503T075106_20200505T084701_0105_038_249_1440_LN2_O_NT_004.SEN3


User Workshop

24-26 June 2020, Exeter, UK

Breaking news: Web site for registration and abstract submission is now open:

Deadline for abstract submission: 18 May 2020 (new date)
Deadline for registration: 12 June 2020 (new date)


Dear Colleague,

We are pleased to announce that the ESA Land Surface Temperature (LST) Climate Change Initiative (CCI) User Workshop will be held from 24th to 26th June 2020 by videoconferencing.

In addition to presenting a brief overview of the LST CCI project and its products, topics for this workshop will include (but are not limited to):
– User requirements for satellite LST
– Uncertainties in satellite retrievals of LST
– User applications for satellite LST
– Climate services and satellite LST
– The role of satellite LST observations in future IPCC Assessment Reports

There will be no registration fee for this event.

Further details will follow in due course. We would be grateful if you could forward this announcement to colleagues. Anyone who would like to register for our LST CCI mailing list can do so by emailing info.lst-cci(at)

Kind regards,

Lizzie Good (LST CCI Climate Research Group lead) and Darren Ghent (LST CCI Science lead)

Newsletter Issue 1


The first issue of the newsletter has been issued and provides science highlights about the LST_cci projet.
















"Taking the temperature of the Earth" at EGU (Austria)


Abstract submission for the EGU General Assembly 2019 is now open. The “Taking the temperature of the Earth: observing surface temperature across all domains in a changing climate” session may be of interest to the LST community. Further details are provided below.


  • The EGU General Assembly 2019 is being held in Vienna, Austria, 7-12 April 2019
  • Conference website :
  • The deadline for support application is 01 December
  • The deadline for receipt of abstracts is 10 January
  • The session number is: CL5.13/AS4.30/CR1.8/OS4.28 (Climate: Past, Present, Future)
  • Session Title: Taking the temperature of the Earth: observing surface temperature across all domains in a changing climate
  • Session web page:
  • Conveners: Emma Dodd, Adrian Dye, Sofia Ermida, Darren Ghent


Monitoring global temperature change in the environment, across a variety of spatio-temporal scales, is critical for understanding how changes in climate affect natural and human systems and informing projections of future changes so that sustainable management strategies can be developed. The importance of monitoring these changes is particularly acute where temperature deviations may force systems to transfer from a stable state to a more unbalanced situation with strong feedbacks, such as desertification or rapid glacier retreat. As a result of the recognised need to monitor changes in global temperature, several types of Surface Temperature are recognised as Global Climate Observing System Essential Climate Variables.

Thermal infrared measurements from different platforms and sensors enable the retrieval of surface temperature across spatial scales from millimetres to kilometres and across temporal scales from seconds to decades. The higher spatial resolution (metres) of ground based or airborne observations allows surface temperature of complex targets (such as debris covered glaciers or urban areas) to be spatially constrained with high precision, particularly with the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Advances in satellite thermal imaging have enabled monitoring changes in surface temperature over large remote areas, providing valuable information to remotely investigate the factors forcing environmental changes. The combined use of surface temperature measurements performed by different platforms at different spatial and temporal scales is also beneficial. For instance, high resolution in situ observations provide validation data for satellite derived surface temperature products, while satellite data can facilitate upscaling of thermal studies to wider areas. 

This session provides an opportunity for multi-disciplinary sharing of knowledge, data and expertise for advancing thermal imaging of the environment in the future. Suggested contributions can include, but are not limited to, topics such as:

  • Applications of thermal observations to detect environmental changes ‘associated’ with climate change 
  • Ground based and airborne thermal observations from in situ stations and field campaigns
  • Development and validation of satellite surface temperature products
  • How to improve remote sensing of surface temperature in different environments
  • Nature of errors and uncertainties in surface temperature observations

We hope to see you in Vienna!

LST_cci project announces algorithm intercomparison exercice [12 October 2018]


This algorithm intercomparison exercise is open to collaborators not involved with the LST_cci project.

To participate please contact Mike Perry (mp317[at] for details of participation and access to the applicable datasets. The format of the exercise is algorithm training with the training subset, algorithm testing with the testing subset, and algorithm selection with the selection subset. Both IR and MW datasets are available for participation, and participants must submit their entries in a specified format and only use the RTTOV 11.3 radiative transfer model.

The training subset was released on 08/10/2018; the testing dataset will be released on 22/10/2018; the selection subset will be released on 05/11/2018; and the submission deadline will be 12/11/2018”

User requirements survey for LST products [August 2018]

The Met Office are currently collecting climate user requirements for satellite Land Surface Temperature (LST) products within the framework of ESA's LST Climate Change Initiative (CCI) project.

The survey should take around 20-30 minutes to complete and will be open until 3 September 2018.

Survey link:

--> For more information 


User Requirements Gathering [27th June 2018]

The project will be starting to gather requirements from climate users of LST data over the course of June/July 2018. This will primarily take the form of an online survey and we encourage all climate users of LST data to take this opportunity to help direct the project in delivering the products the community needs. If you are interested in taking part in the survey please contact Elizabeth Good [elizabeth.good[at]] or Freya Aldred [freya.aldred[at]] at the UK Met Office.

The survey will be complemented by a specific session on gathering user requirements for LST climate applications at the Joint ISWG (International Surface Working Group) and LSA-SAF (Land Surface Analysis Satellite Application Facility) Workshop in Lisbon from 26-28th June 2018. Further details on the workshop including an agenda can be found at:

Project Kick-off [15th May 2018]

The LST CCI Project successfully kicked off on 15th May 2018 at ESA ECSAT offices. All core project partners presented their plans for the upcoming work.

About the project


The project will more specifically provide the following results:

  • A strong validation component providing globally representative and consistent in-situ validation and intercomparison of LST products over all the major land cover types, informing the climate community of the performance of the LST ECV products
  • Sustained support to the surface temperature community through dedicated effort into the well-established International LST and Emissivity Working Group (ILSTE) which is the principle forum of community expertise from data providers to users
  • Detailed climate user input into the specifications of the LST ECV products, and user assessment of these products to drive LST exploitation in climate science.
  • Strong buy-in from the climate science community coordinated by the Climate Research Group, with key inputs from the CMUG and CSWG, and user interaction at two dedicated user workshops.
  • A comprehensive suite of high quality IR LST ECV Products and MW LST ECV Products for geostationary (GEO) and low earth orbit (LEO) satellites covering a range of time periods from 1995 for the earliest sensor through to 2020 for many current and some future sensors.
  • A first Merged IR CDR from input bias corrected Level-1 GEO and LEO data at 0.05° and 3-hourly. This system specification will confront the expected requirements for an operational LST climate service.
  • A consistent long-term LST CDR of over 20 years from 1995 to 2020 for ATSR-2 through to SLSTR by bridging and filling the gap between AATSR and SLSTR.
  • Demonstration of a coherent and open pre-operational End-to-End processing system for delivering the LST ECV Products to the climate user community.
  • A strong validation component providing globally representative and consistent in-situ validation and intercomparison of LST products over all the major land cover types, informing the climate community of the performance of the LST ECV products with respect to the GCOS requirements.
  • Sustained support to the surface temperature community through dedicated effort into the well-established International LST and Emissivity Working Group (ILSTE) which is the principle forum of community expertise from data providers to users.

Resources, data and documents


The project team

The Consortium is based on a close collaboration between the following partners:


Contact us / support

Use the following emails to contact the LST-cci team:

  • Scientific leader: Darren Ghent, djg20[at]
  • Project manager: Jerome Bruniquel, jerome.bruniquel[at]
  • ESA technical officer:Stephen Plummer, stephen.plummer[at]