Earth  ID: 30389

Daytime Land Temperature Anomaly

Land-surface temperature is how hot the surface of the Earth would feel to touch. From a satellite’s perspective, the “surface” is whatever it sees when it looks through the atmosphere to the ground. It could be snow and ice, the grass, a rooftop, or the treetops in a forest. An anomaly is when something is different from normal, or average. These maps show monthly daytime land-surface-temperature anomalies from March 2000 to the present, compared to the average monthly temperatures from 2001-2010 as derived using data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard NASA’s Terra satellite. Places that are warmer than average are red, places that are near-normal are white, and places that are cooler than average are blue. Black means there is no data. Some land-surface-temperature anomalies are simply transient weather phenomena, not part of a specific pattern or trend. Others anomalies are more meaningful. Widespread cold anomalies may be an indication of a harsh winter with lots of snow on the ground. Isolated warm (daytime) anomalies that appear in forests or other natural ecosystems may indicate deforestation or insect damage. Many urban areas also show up as hot spots in these maps because developed areas are often warmer in the daytime than surrounding natural ecosystem or farmland.

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Marit Jentoft-Nilsen: Visualizer
Jesse Allen (Sigma Space Corporation): Visualizer
Based on images by Jesse Allen, NASA’s Earth Observatory using data courtesy of the MODIS Land Group.

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Data Used:
Terra/MODIS/Land Surface Temperature
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
NASA Earth Observations

DLESE >> Geology
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Land Surface >> Land Temperature >> Land Surface Temperature
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NASA Science >> Earth
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GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version