Development and validation of a long-term, global, terrestrial sensible heat flux dataset

Amanda L. Siemann, Nathaniel Chaney, Eric F. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Sensible heat flux is a turbulent flux driving interactions between the Earth's surface and the atmosphere, propelling local and regional climate. While turbulent fluxes are measured in situ, global scales require estimates at larger spatial scales, which can be made using remotely sensed satellite data. This study uses a first-order approximation to calculate the unconstrained hourly, terrestrial, 0.5°-resolution sensible heat flux using a land surface temperature consistent with the High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) retrievals, six reanalysis-based air temperature products, and a dataset of Zilitinkevich empirical constant Czil values. This sensible heat flux dataset is constrained using the daily Bowen ratio and available energy, to produce nine constrained, daily products. All resulting global, terrestrial averages are within the uncertainty range of ±6.3 W m-2 from the 38.8 W m-2 global annual average previously reported in the literature. The product constrained with the net radiation using the Moderate Resolution Infrared Spectroradiometer (MODIS) albedo and air temperature from the National Centers for Environmental Protection (NCEP) Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) performs closest to the FLUXNET ground observations in the monthly analysis. These sensible heat flux estimates should be used for benchmarking global climate models at monthly or annual scales, and improvements should be made to the accuracy of input variables, particularly the temperature gradient, Czil estimates, and the roughness length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6073-6095
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


  • Atmosphere-land interaction
  • Energy budget/balance
  • Fluxes
  • Heat budgets/fluxes
  • Sensible heating
  • Surface fluxes


Dive into the research topics of 'Development and validation of a long-term, global, terrestrial sensible heat flux dataset'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this