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Ultraspectral resolution infrared (IR) radiances obtained from nadir observations provide information about the atmosphere, surface, aerosols, and clouds. Surface spectral emissivity (SSE) and surface skin temperature from current and future operational satellites can and will reveal critical information about the Earth's ecosystem and land-surface-type properties, which might be utilized as a means of long-term monitoring of the Earth's environment and global climate change. In this study, fast radiative transfer models applied to the atmosphere under all weather conditions are used for atmospheric profile and surface or cloud parameter retrieval from ultraspectral and/or hyperspectral spaceborne IR soundings. An inversion scheme, dealing with cloudy as well as cloud-free radiances observed with ultraspectral IR sounders, has been developed to simultaneously retrieve atmospheric thermodynamic and surface or cloud microphysical parameters. This inversion scheme has been applied to the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI). Rapidly produced SSE is initially evaluated through quality control checks on the retrievals of other impacted surface and atmospheric parameters. Initial validation of retrieved emissivity spectra is conducted with Namib and Kalahari desert laboratory measurements. Seasonal products of global land SSE and surface skin temperature retrieved with IASI are presented to demonstrate seasonal variation of SSE.