A very stormy February 2020 in the North Atlantic From Nicolas Reul Ifremer (see) During the first two weeks of February 2020, and more generally, since the beginning of the meteorological winter, the large scale atmospheric context in the North Atlantic and Europe, but also over the whole Northern Hemisphere is characterized by intense low-pressure circulation from the west and south-west , associated with high...


10 years of sea surface Salinity in the Arctic from... From A. Supply These results will be presented at the "Ocean Science meeting" in Session PL24A - Ocean Salinity in Support of Scientific and Environmental Demands. Using 10 years worth of SMOS data, the authors have shown that they could monitor a number of events around the Arctic including the variability of the Beaufort Gyre during ice free periods, the...


PhD and postdoctoral researchers – Land surface modeling,... Positions at KU Lewen! Job Description Join our team to help us take care of our Earth, by making the best use of land surface modeling, remote sensing and data assimilation. We are seeking enthusiastic candidates for 3 PhD and postdoctoral research positions. We offer a unique possibility to new researchers to choose a topic of interest within one of three...


New global and continuous soil freeze-thaw data released... ESA SMOS product family expands with a hemispheric cryosphere product, the SMOS Level 3 freeze and thaw soil state. This new product, provided by Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), gives daily information on soil frost; one of the key parameters in understanding global carbon and water cycle processes. Approximately half of the Earth's land surface is affected...


Researcher (postdoctoral) position in satellite-based... Job Description We are seeking a highly qualified and enthusiastic candidate for a (postdoctoral) research position to work on hydrological and land surface data assimilation. The successful applicant will assimilate microwave remote sensing data (backscatter, brightness temperature) into a land surface model to improve ensemble predictions and reforecasts...




Researcher (postdoctoral) position in satellite-based hydrological data assimilation: KU Leuven & RMI, Belgium

Category : Data, Model, position opening

Job Description

We are seeking a highly qualified and enthusiastic candidate for a (postdoctoral) research position to work on hydrological and land surface data assimilation. The successful applicant will assimilate microwave remote sensing data (backscatter, brightness temperature) into a land surface model to improve ensemble predictions and reforecasts of discharges for major river basins in Belgium. The position is embedded within a Belspo research project on “Improved early warning through Earth observation data assimilation and hydrological retrospective forecasts (EODAHR)”.

You fit our team if you are an experienced researcher with a keen interest in remote sensing and land surface processes and eager to work in an international setting. You will be part of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the KU Leuven under the supervision of prof. dr. ir. Gabrielle De Lannoy, and collaborating with the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) of Belgium.

Our division: http://ees.kuleuven.be/bwb/index.html

EODAHR project page: http://eo-dahr.meteo.be


- Implementing a backscatter assimilation scheme for major Belgian river basins using the NASA Land Information System

- Disseminating results via peer-review publications and attendance of international conferences

- Collaborating with other postdoctoral researchers and PhD students

Required Skills

Only applicants with all of the following skills will be considered:

- PhD in Bio-Science Engineering, Civil or Environmental Engineering, Meteorology, Hydrology, Remotely Sensed Earth Observation, Physics, Mathematics, Geography or equivalent

- Experience with data-processing applications such as Matlab/Python, IDL, GrADS, R, or other.

- Experience with data assimilation

- Experience with land surface remote sensing, hydrological or land surface modeling

- Experience with programming and scientific computing on Linux systems

- Excellent motivation and grades

- Creative, critical, analytical and innovative mindset

- Ability to work independently

- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English

- Willingness to work with PhD students

- Proven research experience in scientific publications

We Offer

- Fully funded position for 1 year, and a possible extension with good performance.

- Multi-disciplinary and international professional environment

- Leuven is a charming historical university town, with a central location in Western Europe.

More Information

Only persons strictly matching the above profile should apply. Submit your resume, along with a motivation letter, and two names for references on-line. The starting date can be immediate after selection, and can be negotiated. For more information, please contact prof. dr. ir. Gabrielle De Lannoy, tel.: +32 16 37 67 13, mail: gabrielle[dot]delannoy[at]kuleuven[dot]be.

Apply for this job no later than January 5th, 2020 via the online application tool.


Post provided by –> Prof. dr. ir. Gabriëlle J. M. De Lannoy

KULeuven, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Division Soil and Water Management

Celestijnenlaan 200 E – box 2411
B-3001 Heverlee

STOP PRESS!! The first CCI+SSS maps are now available

Category : Non classé

From Jacqueline Boutin at LOCEAN

The first version of satellite Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) maps produced by the ESA CCI (Climate Change Initiative) SSS project by combining SMOS-CATDS, AQUARIUS and SMAP SSS over the 2010-2018 period are now available. Systematic differences between SSS obtained from the various instruments and under various geometries have been homogenized  using a methodology similar to the one developed and implemented at CATDS (Centre Aval de Traitement des Données SMOS).

See more on data description and access here.

You may also see the ESA announcement there.


SSS maps as derived from SMOS+ AQUARIUS (2012) and from SMOS+SMAP (2017) : see in particular the interannual variation of the SSS in the Amazon plume, off the Rio De La Plata and the Mississippi river plumes.

Postdoc position open on Remote sensing of Sea Surface Salinity

Category : position opening

A post doc position is opening at LOCEAN:

Remote sensing of sea surface salinity: what can we learn from 10 years of satellite measurements?

Missions :

-Advance the understanding of the phenomena influencing L-band radiometric satellite measurements, in particular SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) measurements; propose improvements to model brightness temperatures and retrieve salinity over the ocean

-Collaborate with various research teams in order to acquire a synthetic vision of the strengths and weaknesses of the satellite salinities acquired since 2010

Activities :

Nearly 10 years of satellite salinity are now available thanks to the SMOS (2010-), SMAP (2015-) and Aquarius (2011-2015) missions. Based on the spatial and temporal variability of the differences between salinities retrieved from each of the three missions and in relation to in situ measurements, the candidate will seek to identify, in collaboration with other team members, the potential causes of the differences: natural variability of salinity at scales not sampled by the different types of measurements, imprecision of auxiliary measurements (e.g. surface temperature, wind speed), direct models (e.g. sea surface roughness model), calibration procedures. He will seek to explain and/or correct the main identified differences, based on physical considerations. Through his knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the data, he will help to highlight the contribution of the (2010-2019) time series, to detecting variability at the ocean surface in relation to ocean circulation and air-sea exchanges. He will assist in the scientific coordination of the CCI (Climate Change Initiative) Sea Surface Salinity project.


- Satellite remote sensing

- Environmental sciences

- Data analysis and critical interpretation of results

- English fluent

- Autonomy and teamwork skills

- Python / Matlab; LINUX

Working context

The Laboratoire d’Oceanographie et du Climat – Expérimentation et Approches numériques (LOCEAN), part of Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), is a joint research laboratory between French CNRS, IRD, Sorbonne Université and Museum national d’histoire naturelle, dedicated mostly to physical and biogeochemical oceanographic research and the role of the ocean in climate variability. These studies are tackled both by observational and experimental means (oceanographic campaigns, merchant ships, buoys, instrument development, satellite measurements) and by modelling, theoretical and numerical (3-dimension ocean general circulation model). It includes almost two hundred scientists, engineers and technicians, mostly in the Paris area. It carries numerous cruises for scientific research or monitoring purposes, and has also experience in different ocean observing systems, in particular drifters, which it has contributed to develop, as well as gliders and other observing platforms. LOCEAN is actively participating in University teaching and supervision of PhD students. The candidate will join the PROTEO team.

SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) is the first Earth observation satellite mission to carry an L-band interferometric radiometer. Launched at the end of 2009, it has now acquired nearly 10 years of data, demonstrating the feasibility of satellite surface salinity measurement and the contribution of interferometric technology. LOCEAN teams have been working on measurement optimization since 1999 and use satellite salinities for scientific purposes. This new type of measurement appeared particularly innovative to characterize tropical instability waves, river plumes, rain signatures, tropical mesoscale ocean structures, signatures related to El Niño events. This post-doctoral fellowship is part of the projects of the CNES and the European Space Agency aimed at consolidating and enhancing the measures acquired. J. Boutin coordinates the SMOS-Ocean CNES/TOSCA project and is the Scientific Co-Lead of the ESA CCI+Sea Surface Salinity project.

Additional information:

Contract duration: 12 months renewable–> This postdoctoral fellowship, with an initial duration of one year, may be renewed for one or two years.

Expected hiring date: mid January, 2020 or later

Work share: Full time

Remuneration: about 2700 € gross monthly (commensurable with experience)

Desired level of study: PhD

Desired experience: 1 to 4 years

How to apply:

Please answer with a CV, letter of motivation and the name of two references to Jacqueline Boutin (jb@locean-ipsl.upmc.fr)

Correction of the L3 daily SM and VOD from CATDS.

Category : L3

The SMOS level 3 soil moisture was developed to take advantage of several revisits of the same point in 7 days. This multi-orbit retrieval was supposed to stabilize the VOD and so to improve the SM retrieval quality. Unfortunately,  it was not the case leading to poor performances of the L3SM when compared to other soil moisture product.

This was not good so….

So we have worked on this issue for some time to identify the issue and correct it . We found the issue (Arnaud and Philippe) and the modification has been implemented in the operational processor since mid July 2019. The figure below presents the time series of level 3 SM and VOD L3 (in blue) for a site in Australia. Before the modification (left hand side of the vertical dotted line), one can noticed spurious peaks of SM (indicated by green circles) that are not present in other SM products (ESA level 2 in orange, SMOS IC in red). These poor retrievals are also noticeable in the VOD plot, where high values are reported.

new L3

Figure showing the temporal behaviour of soil moisture and VOD retrievals before and after the « bug » correction in July 2019.

With the correction, SMOS level 3 performs normally. A complete reprocessing with the corrected algorithm will be done in 2020, taking advantage of the general reprocessing  with the new L1 and L2  processors.

Arnaud Mialon CESBIO

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