The mid infrared (MIR) spectral region (3–5 μm), which penetrates most haze layers in the atmosphere and is less sensitive to variations in atmospheric water vapor, seems to be appropriate for retrieving land surface temperature (LST). However, there are currently few studies of LST retrieval with MIR data because it is difficult to eliminate solar irradiance from the total energy measured in the MIR during the daytime. This project proposes physics based method to retrieve LST from MODIS daytime MIR data. The bidirectional reflectivity describing the reflected solar direct irradiance is determined using the method by Tang and Li. The directional emissivity, representing the surface emitted radiance, is determined by a kernel driven bidirectional reflectance distribution function model, i.e., RossThick-LiSparse-R. Intercomparisons using the MODIS derived
LST product MYD11_L2, for the Baotou experimental site in Urad Qianqi, Inner Mongolia, China, have a maximum root mean square error (RMSE) of 1.69 K and a minimum RMSE of 1.31 K, for four scenes of MODIS images. Furthermore, in situ LSTs measured at the Hailar field site in northeastern Inner Mongolia, China, were also used to validate the proposed method. Comparisons of the LSTs retrieved from MODIS daytime MIR data and those calculated using in situ measurements have a bias and RMSE of −0.17 K and 1.42 K, respectively, which indicates that the proposed method can accurately retrieve LST from MODIS daytime MIR data.