Surface temperatures in key under-observed land regions is the principal scientific topic of the third year of the EarthTemp research network. The third workshop (23-25 June 2014 in Karlsruhe) focussed on Africa, a region which has strong environmental interest in surface temperature across its varied landscapes, with increasingly useful but challenging satellite observations and with particularly sparsely observed and available digital in-situ datasets. The aim of the workshop was to share new techniques for relating surface temperature observations in sparsely observed and interface regions, to understand the use of these temperatures, to develop new collaborative projects for Africa, and to support the surface temperature community in articulating key steps forward for the future.

To support these aims, the workshop explored synergies between in situ, surface air temperatures (LSAT) and satellite-based, measurement techniques. As well as land surface temperatures (LST), the workshop also examined challenges in interface regions such as the coastal zones and lakes where there is considerable interest scientifically, operationally, and in user needs. To enable progress to be made, the workshop featured substantial dialogue and networking activities as well as invited overview presentations, panel discussions and the opportunity to present participants' work in poster sessions. The intention is also to generate review and white papers.

The EarthTemp Network aims to be inclusive and open to surface temperature researchers of all backgrounds who are interested in sharing knowledge and making connections across sub-discipline boundaries. Whilst the Karlsruhe workshop was focussed on Africa, implications are drawn which are valid for other geographical domains. The first EarthTemp meeting resulted in a white paper (Merchant et al, The Surface Temperatures of Earth: steps towards integrated understanding of variability and change. GI, 2, 305-321, 2013).