Digital thermal monitoring of the Amazon forest: an intercomparison of satellite and reanalysis products

Remote sensing and climate digital products have become increasingly available in recent years. Access to these products has favored a variety of Digital Earth studies, such as the analysis of the impact of global warming over different biomes. The study of the Amazon forest response to drought has recently received particular attention from the scientific community due to the occurrence of extreme droughts and anomalous warming over the last decade. This paper focuses on the differences observed between surface thermal anomalies obtained from remote sensing moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) and climatic (ERA-Interim) monthly products over the Amazon forest. With a few exceptions, results show that the spatial pattern of standardized anomalies is similar for both products. In terms of absolute anomalies, the differences between the two products show a bias near to zero with a standard deviation of around 0.2 K, although the differences can be up to 1 K over particular regions and months. Despite this general agreement, the proper filtering of MODIS daily values in order to construct a new monthly product showed a dramatic reduction in the number of reliable pixels during the rainy season, while for the dry season this reduction is only seen in Northern Amazonia.