MODIS Temperature Profiles



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

RESTRICTED only accessable in CEN/MPI net or via CliSAP login  What does that mean?

View data via LAS: AQUA | TERRA (select Temperature parameter from pull down menu)

Access data via OPeNDAP: AQUA | TERRA

Data access via file system:



MODIS stands for MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. This sensor, equipped with over 30 spectral channels from the visible into the infrared frequency range operates from aboard the EOS-TERRA and EOS-AQUA satellites since 2000 and 2002, respectively. Thanks to its high spectral resolution and the large number of different channels a large number of different atmospheric parameters can be retrieved. Here we refer to the temperature profile data set.

Similar to the data sets of the MODIS atmospheric water vapor / precipitable water content atmospheric temperature profiles are derived by means of a statistical regression analysis. Vertical profiles of temperature, moisture and ozone measured globally by radiosondes are used to compute MODIS infrared band radiances using a radiative transfer / transmission model. A regression analysis between the computed radiances and the measured atmospheric profiles is carried out to derive the regression coefficients. These are subsequently applied to the actual MODIS radiance measurements to retrieve the profiles of atmospheric parameters - here the temperature.

More information about the data sets can be found on the MODIS-Atmosphere Group webpage and in the references section - here in particular in the article by King et al. (2003).

This is part of the level-3 MOD08/MYD08 data set derived from level-2 MOD07/MYD07 data of the MODIS Collection 6.1 product family, downloaded August 2018.

Last update of data set at ICDC: March 15, 2019

To top


Name Unit Comments
Mean Atmospheric Temperature Profile K 20 pressure levels
Atmospheric Temperature Profile Standard Deviations K dito
Number of valid used level-2 (5 km x 5 km) grid-cell values -- dito
    This is part of a composite data set
    (see MODIS water vapor)

To top

Coverage, spatial and temporal resolution

Period and temporal resolution: 

  • 2000-02-24 to 2019-02-28 (MODIS EOS-TERRA)
  • 2002-07-04 to 2019-02-28 (MODIS EOS-AQUA)
  • Daily

Coverage and spatial resolution:

  • Global
  • Spatial resolution: 1° x 1°, cartesian grid
  • Geographic longitude: 180°W to 180°E
  • Geographic latitude: 90°S to 90°N
  • Dimension: 360 columns x 180 rows
  • Altitude: 20 pressure levels: 5, 10, 20, 30, 50, 70, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 400, 500, 620, 700, 780, 850, 920, 950, 1000 hPa


  • NetCDF

Missing days:

  • TERRA: August 7-18 2000; June 16 - July 2 2001; March 20-27 & April 15 2002; December 21-22 2008
  • AQUA: July 30 - August 6 2002

To top

Data quality

The offered temperature profile data contain as a measure of uncertainty the standard deviation of all level-2 grid cells used for the computation of the Level-3 product.

This data set is from Collection 6.1 of the MODIS product family. Hence a substantial number inconsistencies and potential retrieval problems, which have been identified in the past version (4, 5), has been taken care of in the Collection 6 product family; this newest MODIS product release, 6.1. improves over the 6.0 version by mitigating the influence of electronic cross-talk between the atmospheric bands.

We refer to the documents listed in the References.

To top


Steve Platnick
MODIS - Atmosphere Level-3 Product Group
email: steve.platnick (at) nasa.gov

Eva Borbas
MODIS - Atmosphere Profile Retrieval Group
email: eva.borbas (at) nasa.gov

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

To top


Data citation

Please cite the data as follows:

Platnick, S., et al., 2017. MODIS Atmosphere L3 Daily Product. NASA MODIS Adaptive Processing System, Goddard Space Flight Center, USA: dx.doi.org/10.5067/MODIS/MOD08_D3.061, last access date: 5/3/2019

(if MODIS EOS-AQUA data are used accordingly: dx.doi.org/10.5067/MODIS/MYD08_D3.061)

and acknowledge the source of your data download as:

Original MODIS collection 6.1 temperature profile data provided in hdf format by https://ladsweb.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/ were downloaded in netCDF file format from the Integrated Climate Data Centre (ICDC), CliSAP, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, http://icdc.cen.uni-hamburg.de

To top

###BACKLINK###     ###TOPLINK###