Helsinki Finland

4th International Earth Surface Working Group (IESWG) Workshop

April, 2022 (Hybrid meeting)

Hosted by the Finnish Meteorological Institute

We are happy to continue the work of the International Earth Surface Working Group (IESWG). Currently, the group plans for IESWG-4 to be a hybrid meeting held in April, 2022 online and for those possible in person.

Seminar and Discussion Series

As COVID-19 as changed the outlook for rapidly convening a new International Earth Surface Working Group (IESWG) meeting, we have organized a three-part seminar and discussion series.

We are inviting two speakers on the three topic areas to speak for 1-hour followed by an pleanry session hour to discuss the state-of-the-science, collaboration ideas, and areas of focus for research and observations.

Snow ice and cryosphere-atmosphere interaction
Multi-layer snow modelling and cryosphere-atmosphere interactions in the ECMWF Integrated Forecasting System Gabriele Arduini ECMWF - Europe
Sea Ice Assimilation in Navy Modeling Systems Richard Allard NRL - U.S.
Plenary Session

Vegetation and land-atmosphere fluxes

Exploring the relation of temperature forecast performance to climate, circulation, soil and vegetation variables Melissa Ruiz Vásquez IMPRS-gBGC - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft - Germany
Assimilation of satellite retrieved land surface temperature, and future plans at Météo France for earth surface assimilation Camille Birman Météo France
Plenary Session

Soil moisture, river-discharge and water cycle
Transitioning towards a seamless hydrological modelling strategy at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Elisabetta Carrara and Christoph Rudiger BOM - Australia
Initialization of Soil Moisture in Numerical Weather Prediction John P. George NCMRWF - India
Plenary Session

IESWG Mission

The aim of the International Earth Surface Working Group (IESWG) is to gather requirements specific to surface observations to enhance both our understanding and ability to monitor the components of the Earth system including land, vegetation, snow, ice, and coastal and open waters.

Focus of the Meeting

  • Use of Earth Observation (EO)-data for Cryosphere and Biosphere modelling applications both IR/MW, active/passive remote sensing data relevant to study processes at the land-atmosphere interactions;
  • Use of EO-data for parameter optimization including land surface temperature, albedo, vegetation state, soil moisture, snow water equivalent, water-body extent, canopy parameters, vegetation water content, sea-ice concentration, etc. and the resulting surface emissivity/reflectance spectra;
  • Land Data Assimilation Systems (LDASs) state of the operational land surface modelling and assimilation systems and recent developments; sensitivity studies of surface model parameters to remotely sensed data; outcomes of assimilating SMOS, SMAP, GPM observations and their combination with higher resolution sensors such as MODIS/VIIRS, Sentinel-3-OLCI;
  • Radiative transfer and emissivity/reflectivity model development: VIS/IR/MW, all surface types, review of current parameterization for forward modelling surface boundary; description of available land emissivity databases/atlases (MW and IR); intercomparison/validation of physical models and retrieved emissivity (MW and IR, including land, snow, and ice surfaces);
  • Retrievals of surface parameters: product characteristics and performances and expected evolutions including land surface temperature, albedo, vegetation state, soil moisture, snow water equivalent, water-body extent, canopy parameters, vegetation water content, sea-ice concentration, etc. and the resulting surface emissivity/reflectance spectra;
  • Other relevant topics: model-data comparison efforts involving EO dataset and shared experiences from ongoing surface monitoring systems, use of multi-sensor/ multi-platform, multi-temporal approaches to maximize information over heterogeneous or rapidly changing surface types.

Special Issues

The Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society is seeking contributions for a new special issue

Deadline for Manuscript Submissions: 31st December 2022
Coupled Earth system data assimilation

The IESWG has encouraged contributions to Earth surface modeling through special issues. Two such issues have been published in Remote Sensing (RS) Special Issues. One now expanded to an online book.

These can be found here:
Remote Sensing of Land Surface and Earth System Modelling

Advancing Earth Surface Representation via Enhanced Use of Earth Observations in Monitoring and Forecasting Applications

Expected Outcomes

This workshop aims at reviewing capabilities of existing technology and the capacity for their use in surface monitoring, data assimilation and modelling applications. This in turn should be used to provide expert recommendations and coordination guidance for surface observations. The International Surface Working Group will:

  • Update recommendations to further the coordination and exploitation of Earth Observation data of terrestrial surfaces and land-atmosphere interactions;
  • Update recommendations consistent with the evolution of existing satellite systems and how to fill potential gaps in future observations;
  • Maintain a record of the state-of-the science of Earth surface assimilation and prediction, and guide and focus reserach directions to identified gaps in understanding.

Background for the workshop

The group was formed from an effort of a sub-group (Remote Sensing and Modelling of Surface Properties - RSMSP) of the ITWG and has organised four workshops over the past decade. The ITWG has hosted a website for the RSMSP. The RSMSP group reported directly to the ITWG, and thus indirectly to CGMS via ITWG. However the new group has a much clearer focus on the Earth surface, rather than as a boundary to better enable atmospheric sounding. Due to this growth we successfully convened the 1st International Surface Working Group in July, 2017 in Monterey Bay, CA. From this meeting we prepared recommendations and action items which were presented at the 21st International TOVS Study Conference (ITSC-21). Further, both at this workshop and in other opportunities we have conferred with representatives of the WMO and CGMS as to the possiblity of making a call for this group to establish itself with Coordinated Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) as a partner group. Further, the IESWG had been interacting with the Global Cryosphere Watch and has been working towards a more direct collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) primarily for support of the Earth surface modeling efforts. We believe the Earth surface community has recognized the opportunity of a sister group addressing surface Earth Observations (EO) and we believe the effort and support from this group can be directed to a proposal for creation of such a body to the CGMS.

The 4th workshop continues following a recommendation from the International TOVS Working Group