Land surface temperature variability across India: a remote sensing satellite perspective

  • Satya PrakashEmail author
  • Hamid Norouzi
Original Paper


Land surface temperature (LST) plays a key role in the surface energy budget computation and land surface process studies. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors onboard the Aqua and Terra satellites provide comprehensive global LST estimates at a fine spatial resolution. The MODIS products were recently upgraded to Collection 6, and shown to be more accurate than its predecessor Collection 5 products. In this study, LST and its variability have been examined across India from Collection 6 of the Aqua MODIS data at 0.05° spatial resolution for the period of 2003 to 2017. All-India mean LST characteristics show distinctive features as compared to the well-documented mean characteristics of near-surface air temperature. All land cover types except permanent snow and ice, and cold desert areas exhibit bimodal peaks in seasonal variations of daytime LST. The daytime LST over the coldest and high-altitude regions of northern India shows anomalous positive linear relationship with NDVI at a monthly scale. However, monthly domain-mean daytime LST of cropland regions is largely negatively correlated with NDVI as compared to other land cover types. Results reveal that about 17% of the Indian landmass received its hottest LST during 2010 followed by 2016. Linear trend analysis for the 15-year period of mean annual LST shows a decrease in diurnal temperature range over most parts of the country due to rather rapid increase in nighttime LST than daytime LST, similar as changes in near-surface air temperature across the country.



The authors would like to thank the editor and anonymous reviewer for their constructive comments. The MODIS data products were obtained from the online Data Pool, courtesy of the NASA Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC), USGS/Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota,


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Divecha Centre for Climate ChangeIndian Institute of ScienceBengaluruIndia
  2. 2.New York City College of TechnologyCity University of New YorkBrooklynUSA
  3. 3.Earth and Environmental SciencesThe Graduate Center, City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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