Here we analyze rainfall data for the New Guinea region comprising station observations, reanalysis products and satellite-based estimates in order to better understand some of these details. We find that most gridded products are limited due to their relatively coarse horizontal resolutions that fail to resolve topographic effects. However, the relatively fine resolution TRMM satellite–based product appears to provide reliable estimates and linear correlations between the data and the NINO34 sea surface temperature index provides an insight into the pattern of ENSO rainfall impacts.
MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument aboard the Terra (originally known as EOS AM-1) and Aqua (originally known as EOS PM-1) satellites. Terra's orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths (see MODIS Technical Specifications).