MODIS Land surface temperature



This data set is only available for a restricted user group, please contact us if you want to access these data.

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Data access via file system /data/icdc/land/modis_terra_landsurfacetemperature



Here we offer daily composites and monthly means of the land surface temperature as derived from infrared radiances measured with the MODIS-TERRA sensor at its channels 31 and 32. From radiances obtained under clear-sky conditions the land surface temperature is obtained using a split window technique. This data set is the final product of a product chain. In this chain, the land surface temperature is calculated for each day first for single MODIS overpasses, then for tiles with 1000 m resolution (product MOD11A1) and finally for the climate modeling grid (CMG) with 0.05° grid resolution. These daily data are further processed in order to receive 8-day composites or even a monthly mean.

To produce this data set other parameters (actually all MODIS products) are required, that is the MODIS vertical temperature and water vapor profiles, the MODIS cloud mask, the land cover distribution, and the snow cover.

The data offered here are based on MODIS-TERRA of MODIS Collection 006.

For more and detailed information, please see the User's Guide.

Last data set update at ICDC: January 10, 2020.

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Linear trends of the mean monthly land surface temperature (LST) from MODIS Collection 006 have been computed for the period 2000-03 to 2019-12.   LST data are first averaged over 1° x 1° grid boxes. Grid boxes with at least 50 grid cells with original resolution (0.05° x 0.05°) are treated as if these are completely covered by land (prepared by M. Meyer).

The maps are organized in three rows showing, from top to bottom, the LST trends in [K/10 years] for January through April, May through August, and September through December. The sickle-shaped area of negative LST trends over Antarctica from March through October is an artifact.

Last update of these maps: January 6, 2020.


Name Unit
Land surface temperature (day) °C
Land surface temperature (night) °C
Error flag (day) -- (1: <= 1 K, 2: <= 2K, 3: <= 3K, 4: > 3K)
Error flag (night) -- (see above)
Quality flag (day) -- (-1: water, 0: good quality, 1: doubtful quality, 10: clouds)
Quality flag (night) -- (see above)
Land fraction in grid cell %
Mean local time of observation (day) h
Mean local time of observation (night) h

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Coverage, spatial and temporal resolution

Period and temporal resolution:

  • Monthly (MOD11C3)
  • 2000-03 to 2019-12
  • Daily (MOD11C1)
  • 2000-02-24 to 2019-12-31

Coverage and spatial resolution:

  • Global
  • Spatial resolution: 0.05° x 0.05° (about 5600 m, Climate Modeling Grid)
  • Geographic longitude: 179.975°W to 179.975°E
  • Geographic latitude: 89.975°S to 89.975°N
  • Dimension: 3600 rows x 7200 columns
  • Altitude: following topography


  • NetCDF

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Data quality

The data offered here are part of the well-validated new Collection 006 of the MODIS product suite. Collection 006 includes substantial radiometric calibration improvements which ensures a consistent time series (see e.g. Lyapustin et al., 2014). The accuracy of the retrieved land surface temperature is given in the data set in form of a quality flag (see parameters). Generally, only those grid cells contain a valid value where a proper land surface temperature retrieval was possible. Gaps in the data are almost solely based upon a persistent cloud cover.

The original data set includes a couple of more parameters such as the observation time, observation angle, number of days with clear-sky conditions during the month under consideration as well as emissivities of channels 20, 22, 23, 29, 31, 32. All this information is not included in the data set offered here, however, in order to keep it simple and the data volume low.

New results indicate that there might be a cold bias (clear sky bias) of MODIS LST over winter-time snow covered areas.

Please look into the documents listed under references for calibration / validation activities and results.

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LPDAAC User Services
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS)
email: LPDAAC (at) usgs.gov

Zhengming Wan
Earth Research Institute
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
email: wan (at) eri.ucsb.edu

Stefan Kern
ICDC / CEN / University of Hamburg
email: stefan.kern (at) uni-hamburg.de

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Data citation

Please cite data upon usage as follows:

Z. Wan, S. H., G. Hulley. (2015). MOD11C1 MODIS/Terra Land Surface Temperature/Emissivity Daily L3 Global 0.05Deg CMG V006. NASA EOSDIS Land Processes DAAC. doi.org/10.5067/MODIS/MOD11C1.006, last access date: January 6 2020, distributed in netCDF format by the Integrated Climate Data Center (ICDC, icdc.cen.uni-hamburg.de) University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Please replace MOD11C1 by MOD11C3 when using the monthly instead of the daily data.



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