Document Type


Publication Date



Diurnal temperature range (DTR) is an important climate change index. Information on this parameter comes primarily from sparse and unevenly distributed observations of shelter air temperature. In this study, five years of GOES- 8 based estimates of land surface temperature (LST) over the United States are used to evaluate DTR at high spatial resolution. The spatial and temporal patterns that emerged show a high degree of consistency with independent satellite estimates of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Specifically, the arid regions in the western and central U.S. have larger DTRs than the eastern United States or the northwest coast. When stratified by four major surface types, the western U. S. DTRs over these surface types are larger than over the eastern part. It is also observed that urban areas have the lowest DTRs especially over the polluted eastern U. S. The similarity of the DTR spatial and temporal patterns and variations of the independent satellite based vegetation index are encouraging and suggest that satellite based estimates of DTR carry a strong signal on surface conditions which are responsive to climate change.


This article was originally published in Geophysical Research Letters, volume 33, in 2006. DOI: 10.1029/2005GL024780

Peer Reviewed






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.