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AMSU-A-Only Atmospheric Temperature Data Records from the Lower Troposphere to the Top of the Stratosphere

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  • 1 Earth Resource Technology, Inc., Laurel, Maryland
  • | 2 Center for Satellite Applications and Research, NOAA/NESDIS, Camp Springs, Maryland
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Abstract

The Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A, 1998–present) not only continues but surpasses the Microwave Sounding Unit’s (MSU, 1978–2006) capability in atmospheric temperature observation. It provides valuable satellite measurements for higher vertical resolution and long-term climate change research and trend monitoring. This study presented methodologies for generating 11 channels of AMSU-A-only atmospheric temperature data records from the lower troposphere to the top of the stratosphere. The recalibrated AMSU-A level 1c radiances recently developed by the Center for Satellite Applications and Research group were used. The recalibrated radiances were adjusted to a consistent sensor incidence angle (nadir), channel frequencies (prelaunch-specified central frequencies), and observation time (local solar noon time). Radiative transfer simulations were used to correct the sensor incidence angle effect and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-15 (NOAA-15) channel 6 frequency shift. Multiyear averaged diurnal/semidiurnal anomaly climatologies from climate reanalysis as well as climate model simulations were used to adjust satellite observations to local solar noon time. Adjusted AMSU-A measurements from six satellites were carefully quality controlled and merged to generate 13+ years (1998–2011) of a monthly 2.5° × 2.5° gridded atmospheric temperature data record. Major trend features in the AMSU-A-only atmospheric temperature time series, including global mean temperature trends and spatial trend patterns, were summarized.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Cheng-Zhi Zou, Center for Satellite Applications and Research, NOAA/NESDIS, 5830 University Research Ct., Office 2826, College Park, MD 20740. E-mail: cheng-zhi.zou@noaa.gov

Abstract

The Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A, 1998–present) not only continues but surpasses the Microwave Sounding Unit’s (MSU, 1978–2006) capability in atmospheric temperature observation. It provides valuable satellite measurements for higher vertical resolution and long-term climate change research and trend monitoring. This study presented methodologies for generating 11 channels of AMSU-A-only atmospheric temperature data records from the lower troposphere to the top of the stratosphere. The recalibrated AMSU-A level 1c radiances recently developed by the Center for Satellite Applications and Research group were used. The recalibrated radiances were adjusted to a consistent sensor incidence angle (nadir), channel frequencies (prelaunch-specified central frequencies), and observation time (local solar noon time). Radiative transfer simulations were used to correct the sensor incidence angle effect and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-15 (NOAA-15) channel 6 frequency shift. Multiyear averaged diurnal/semidiurnal anomaly climatologies from climate reanalysis as well as climate model simulations were used to adjust satellite observations to local solar noon time. Adjusted AMSU-A measurements from six satellites were carefully quality controlled and merged to generate 13+ years (1998–2011) of a monthly 2.5° × 2.5° gridded atmospheric temperature data record. Major trend features in the AMSU-A-only atmospheric temperature time series, including global mean temperature trends and spatial trend patterns, were summarized.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Cheng-Zhi Zou, Center for Satellite Applications and Research, NOAA/NESDIS, 5830 University Research Ct., Office 2826, College Park, MD 20740. E-mail: cheng-zhi.zou@noaa.gov
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