New salinity products are available at CATDS!

Category : CATDS, L3, L4, Ocean

Dear CATDS user,

New salinity products are available at CATDS. A new correction for systematic errors (land-sea and seasonal-latitudinal ) has been implemented in CATDS CPDC and in CATDS CEC LOCEAN.

Concerning CATDS CPDC, a RE05 reprocessing of ocean salinity is available from January 2010 to March 2017; the operational processing has been updated accordingly. Binned maps at usual spatial and temporal resolution are available. The SMOS SSS corrected for systematic errors are in MIR_CSQ3 files; non corrected SMOS SSS remain available in MIR_CSF3 files. The corrected product is limited to 45N-47S, the correction remaining uncertain at higher latitudes. A new ATBD is available at
You can download this product from the usual ftp site :

Concerning CATDS CEC-LOCEAN, 9-day and 18-day products sampled at 25km resolution are provided every 4 days. They cover all latitudes from January 2010 to December 2016 (see further description in the documentation at
A validation of these products has been presented at EGU (see poster at
You can download this product from the usual ftp site :

Best regards

The CATDS Team

SMOS research products for the Cryosphere in Antarctica

Category : L3, L4

The aim of the CryoSMOS project, funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and led by IFAC (Florence, Italy), is to evaluate the ability of SMOS observations to retrieve glaciological parameters or to monitor climatic processes in Antarctica. The study focused on some broad areas of the continent having specific physical characteristics: the Antarctic Plateau, the ice-shelves and the coastal region. Four SMOS derived research products have been developed:

1) Estimation of the internal ice-sheet temperature

Contact : Giovanni Macelloni, – IFAC, Florence, Italy

2) Estimation of ice thickness

Contact : Niels Skou,,DTU, – Technical University of Denmark – Denmark

3) Indicator of the origin of ice-shelves variability;

Contact : Lars Kaleschke,, UHAM – University of Hamburg, Germany

4) Surface melting occurrence

Contact : Ghislain Picard,,IGE – Institut des Geosciences de l’Environnement – Grenoble, France

The data are available from the CATDS and can be found here (free)

Information regarding these products can be found here

More information is available there

Two examples are shown in the figures below. The top most represents the temperature of the ice packs at a depth of 500m. The lower one gives the number of days of melt in 2010/2011.

Tice@-500m in SM_TEST_MIR_ITUDP4_20100101T0000


PhD or Postdoc Position in Satellite-Based Data Assimilation for Soil Moisture Estimation

Category : L4, position opening

Please note

On-line vacancy advertisement:

PhD or Postdoc Position in Satellite-Based Data Assimilation for Soil Moisture Estimation

Our team:

Soil moisture is a key variable in the water, energy and carbon cycle over land. The objective of this project is to merge large-scale land surface simulations with satellite-based microwave observations from the ESA Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) and NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) missions, using an advanced data assimilation scheme which corrects for both the random and persistent errors in soil moisture estimates. The improved soil moisture time series will help enhancing subsequent predictions of flooding, landslides, soil and vegetation carbon, deeper groundwater and the atmospheric boundary layer.

We are searching for an enthusiastic researcher with a keen interest in land surface processes to implement advances to a global land surface data assimilation system. You will be part of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Division Soil and Water Management, at the KU Leuven (Belgium), working under the supervision of prof. dr. ir. Gabrielle De Lannoy.

- Master (for PhD position) or PhD (for postdoc position) degree in Hydrology, Civil or Environmental Engineering, Meteorology, Remotely Sensed Earth Observation, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Sciences, or equivalent
- Experience with data-processing applications such as Matlab/Python, IDL,GrADS, R, or other; interest in (for PhD position) or strong experience with (for postdoc position) programming and scientific computing
- Excellent motivation and grades
- Creative, critical, analytical and innovative mindset
- Ability to work independently
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English

- For PhD position: PhD scholarship for 4 years; support and training to PhD students through the Arenberg Doctoral School (
- For postdoc position: 2-year position with a competitive salary; support in career development
- Multi-disciplinary and international professional environment
- Leuven is a charming historical university town, located in the heart of Western Europe

Applicants should submit their resume, along with a motivation letter and two names for possible references on-line. The starting date is October 1, 2016. For more information please contact prof. dr. ir. Gabrielle De Lannoy, tel.: +32 16 37 67 13, mail:

You can apply for this job via the online application tool until September 1, 2016:

Was 2015 a « DRY » year? and what about 2016?

Category : CATDS, L4

Several extreme drought events occurred in 2015 around the globe. At CESBIO, combining hydrological modelling and remotely sensed surface soil moisture from SMOS, we monitored a number of them. We used CATDS (Centre Aval de Traitement des données SMOS) products.

The aproach was to use our root zone soil moisture information derived from SMOS to infer a water scarcity index. Water scarcity in the root zone (0-1.5m) is actually an efficient early warning system for agricultural droughts.


The figure above shows 5 of the major droughts which occurred in 2015. The small focus maps show the drought index during the drought events in each of the regions of interest. The losses caused by these droughts amount to billions.

So the next question is: are we facing long drought events that can impact food security at global scale?

In 2016 we may see even worse conditions. Our drought index seem to provide an alarming forecast. This was showcased by ESA during the Living Planet Symposium LPS2016 with this post using our latest root zone soil moisture map (see Water for crops – the SMOS root zone soil moisture).

We also produced the drought index map over North America for 2016 and it seems that after the Alberta fires and last year drought in the West coast of the US, the Eastern coast is now at risk. This forecast may change but it is clear that extremes conditions are breaking very old records, beyond the contribution of the El-Nino effect.


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