Extreme Temperature

The image shows the heat emanating from Death Valley on 30 June 2013. The measurement is surface temperature as measured by the Thermal Infrared Sensor on the Landsat 8 satellite. The accompanying natural color view from the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 shows that the cooler areas are either higher in elevation or covered with plants. Image: NASA.

Definition

A general term for temperature variations above (extreme heat) or below (extreme cold) normal conditions (IRDR Glossary).

Since climate varies regionally, the definition of an extreme temperature and its threshold will differ from location to location. In other words, an extreme value in one location may be within the normal range in a different location (WMO).

A simple method is to establish a specific threshold for temperature and extreme precipitation events and evaluate the extremes that occur over (or under) that given threshold. Another common mean of ascertaining thresholds is based on selecting the tail of distributions for temperature and precipitation.Statistical partitions such as by quartiles or percentiles of the distribution have provided a means for evaluating extremes (WMO).

Facts and figures

Heat waves

A period of marked unusual hot weather (maximum, minimum and daily average temperature) over a region persisting at least three consecutive days during the warm period of the year based on local (station-based) climatological conditions, with thermal conditions recorded above given thresholds. Heat waves differ from warm spells. Similar to heat waves, warm spells are defined as a persistent period of abnormal warm weather. A warm spell occurs at any time of the year, whereas heat waves can only occur in the warm season (WMO).

Cold waves

A period of marked and unusual cold weather characterized by a sharp and significant drop of air temperatures near the surface (maximum, minimum and daily average) over a large area and persisting below certain thresholds for at least two consecutive days during the cold season. “Cool spell” refers to persistently below-average temperature conditions occurring during the warm season (WMO).

Related content on the Knowledge Portal

SAM Satellite

Aqua, Latin for water, is a NASA Earth Science satellite mission named for the large amount of information that the mission is collecting about the Earth's water cycle. The Aqua mission is a part of the NASA-centered international Earth Observin System (EOS). Aqua was formerly named EOS PM, signifying its afternoon equatorial crossing time.
Aqua was launched on May 4, 2002, and has six Earth-observing instruments on board, collecting a variety of global data sets. Aqua was originally developed for a six-year design life but has now far exceeded that original goal and is expected to be operating into successfully into the early 2020s. It continues transmitting high-quality data from four of its six instruments, AIRS, AMSU, CERES, and MODIS, and reduced quality data from a fifth instrument, AMSR-E. The sixth Aqua instrument, HSB, collected approximately nine months of high quality data but failed in February 2003.

Instruments:
Atmospheric Infrared... read more

Launch date:
04/05/2002

Terra explores the connections between Earth's atmosphere, land, snow and ice, ocean, and energy balance to understand Earth's climate and climate change and to map the impact of human activity and natural disasters on communities and ecosystems. It was launched on 18 December 1999 and has far exceeded its design life, having a strong chance of operating successfullty into the early 2020s.
Terra is in a circular sun-synchronous polar orbit that takes it from north to south (on the daylight side of the Earth) every 99 minutes.

On October 6, 2018 Terra completed 100,000 orbits around Earth.

Approximately the size of a small school bus, the Terra satellite carries five instruments that take coincident measurements of the Earth system.

Instruments:
Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER): Creates high resolution images of water, ice, clouds and the land surface using Shortwave Infrared (SWIR... read more

Launch date:
18/12/1999

The government-owned Landsat 7 was successfully launched on April 15, 1999, from the Western Test Range of Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on a Delta-II expendable launch vehicle. The Earth observing instrument on Landsat 7, the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), replicates the capabilities of the highly successful Thematic Mapper instruments on Landsats 4 and 5.
Landsat 7 is the most accurately calibrated Earth-observing satellite, i.e., its measurements are extremely accurate when compared to the same measurements made on the ground.  Landsat 7’s sensor has been called “the most stable, best characterized Earth observation instrument ever placed in orbit.”  Landsat 7’s rigorous calibration standards have made it the validation choice for many coarse-resolution sensors.
Considered a calibration-triumph, the Landsat 7 mission went flawlessly until May 2003 when a hardware component failure left wedge-shaped spaces of missing data on either side of... read more

Launch date:
15/04/1999

NOAA-15 (designated NOAA-K before launch) is one of the NASA-provided TIROS series of weather forecasting satellite run by NOAA. It was launched on May 13, 1998, and is currently operational, in a sun-synchronous orbit, 807 km above the Earth, orbiting every 101 minutes. It hosts the AMSU-A and AMSU-B instruments, the AVHRR and High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS/3) instruments, as well as a Space Environment Monitor (SEM/2).

Instruments:
AMSU-A (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit - A)
AMSU-B (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit - B)
AVHRR/3 (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer/3)
HIRS/3 (High Resolution Infra Red Sounder/3)
S&RSAT (Search & Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System)
DCS/s (Data Collection System/2)
SEM/MEPED (SEM/Medium energy proton detector)
SEM/TED (SEM/Total Energy Detector)

Launch date:
13/05/1998

Data Source

Copernicus Open Access Hub. Image Credit: ESA.
Publishing institution: European Space Agency (ESA)
The Copernicus Open Access Hub provides complete, free and open access to Sentinel missions data.

Actualités

Crops in Kenya. Image: RCMRD.

A variety of environmental and man-made factors can have a detrimental effect on the yield of farmers worldwide. A programme launched in Kenya, funded by SERVIR in collaboration with NASA Harvest and the Swiss Re Foundation, uses Earth observation (EO) data to assess crop damage and prioritise the mobilisation of financial aid to farmers.

SERVIR is a joint initiative by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and NASA’s Earth Applied Sciences Program that works with “leading regional organizations world-wide to help developing countries use information provided by Earth observing satellites and geospatial technologies for managing climate risks and land use”. SERVIR both provides access to EO... read more

Publishing date: 03/03/2021

Événement

Banner for the Planet Labs/Copernicus EMS Virtual Panel. Image: Planet Labs/Copernicus EMS.

The role of the Earth Observation industry in emergency situations and crisis response has significantly grown in recent years. Climate change brought forest fires, floods and other emergency states that have put Earth Observation and its data to the forefront. Data provided by the Earth Observation industry provides insights that allow emergency services to put their action plan in place appropriately and act timely. During this panel we will talk about Earth Observation data's role in emergency prevention, response and recovery mapping in the context of Copernicus Emergency Management Services and other emergency services.

Panelists:

  • Jens Danzeglocke, Space Administration & Earth Observation, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Franck Ranera, Strategic Partner Development Manager, Serco
  • Philippe Campenon, Government Sales, Planet Labs
  • Moderator: Annett Wania, Innovation Project Manager, Planet Labs

The event will take... read more

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