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Land Surface, Temperature


Land surface temperature (LST): Average temperature of an element of the exact surface of the Earth calculated from measured radiance (for a complete definition, see Norman and Becker 1995).

Blackbody: An ideal material absorbing all incident energy or emitting all thermal energy possible. A cavity with a pinhole aperture approximates a blackbody.

Color temperature: Temperature satisfying Planck’s law for spectral radiances measured at two different wavelengths: for a graybody (this entry); for any emitter; blackbody temperature for which visual color is the same as some other source (e.g., in photography).

Emissivity ε: The efficiency with which a surface radiates its thermal energy.

Irradiance: The power incident on a unit area, integrated over all directions (W m−2).

Longwave infrared (LWIR): For most terrestrial surfaces (~340–~240 K) peak thermal emittance occurs at LWIR (~8–14 μm).

Mid infrared (MIR): Forest fires (~1,000–600 K) have