News & Events

Oct. 19, 2023

New updates enhance ESA CCI soil moisture dataset

new update to ACTIVE, PASSIVE and COMBINED products, Version 08.1

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Climate Change Initiative has released the latest iteration of the global soil moisture dataset, known as version v08.1. This latest version, extends temporal coverage to the end of 2022 and comes it several notable technical improvements to the retrieval algorithm.

Soil moisture monitoring is crucial for climate studies, impacting drought assessment, energy budgets, water resources, and crop yield predictions. Accurate soil moisture data aids climate modelling, informs agriculture, and assesses ecosystem health. Previous iterations of the dataset have supporting state of the global climate assessments by the IPCC and BAMS and at a European scale by Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

The dataset comprises both ACTIVE and PASSIVE products, integrating data from satellite scatterometers and radiometers for soil moisture analysis. The ACTIVE product sources data from AMI-WS and ASCAT satellite instruments, while the PASSIVE product draws from satellite instruments like SMMR, SSM/I, TMI, AMSR-E, WindSat, FY-3B, FY-3C, FY3D, AMSR2, SMOS, GPM, and SMAP. The COMBINED product is derived from Level 2 active and passive instruments.

In addition to extending the temporal coverage until the close of 2022, version v08.1 introduces significant technical enhancements, including:

  • The generation of uncertainty estimates on a seasonal basis through Triple Collocation Analysis, enhancing the accuracy of seasonal error representation in soil moisture retrieval.
  • A refined barren ground flagging strategy, now requiring at least 50% + 1 of the observing sensors to raise the flag, while keeping this flagging process optional to ensure open access to soil moisture data.
  • Integration of the temporal break correction, which was previously a separate experimental product, resulting in a more comprehensive and user-friendly dataset.

For further documentation and detailed information on the datasets, please visit the CCI Soil Moisture project website.

Citeable as Dorigo, W.; Preimesberger, W.; Hahn, S.; Van der Schalie, R.; De Jeu, R.; Kidd, R.; Rodriguez-Fernandez, N.; Hirschi, M.; Stradiotti, P.; Frederikse, T.; Gruber, A.; Madelon, R. (9999): ESA Soil Moisture Climate Change Initiative (Soil_Moisture_cci): Version 08.1 data collection. NERC EDS Centre for Environmental Data Analysis.