Variability of Stratospheric Water Vapor Inferred from SAGE II, HALOE, and Boulder (Colorado) Balloon Measurements

E. W. Chiou Science Applications International Corporation, Hampton, Virginia

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L. W. Thomason NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

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W. P. Chu NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

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Abstract

The variability of stratospheric water vapor between 1996 and 2004 has been studied using multiyear measurements from the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II (SAGE II) version 6.2 dataset, the Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE) version 19 dataset, and the balloon-borne frost point hygrometer data record at Boulder, Colorado (40°N, 105°W). The features derived from SAGE II and HALOE for 20° latitudinal zones from 60°S to 60°N at various altitudes (16–34 km) show good quantitative agreement regarding the phases and magnitudes of annual, semiannual, and quasi-biennial oscillations (QBO). For the latitudinal zones 20°–40° and 40°–60°, the hemispheric asymmetry at 22 km with mainly QBO in the north and predominantly annual oscillations in the south has been revealed by both SAGE II and HALOE observations. Strong correlation exists between SAGE II and HALOE lower-stratospheric H2O anomalies over low latitudes and 100-hPa tropical zonal mean temperature anomalies. The correlation coefficients based on the 0°–20°S water vapor time series with H2O lagged by 2 months are 0.81 and 0.70 for HALOE and SAGE II, respectively. For 35°–45°N, SAGE II and HALOE show consistent trends generally varying from −0.05 to −0.02 ppmv yr−1 between 16 and 34 km. The corresponding analyses based on frost point measurements over Boulder show insignificant trends. These trends are not strongly dependent on the end points of the analysis and stand in contrast to the positive trends reported in previous studies that include data records prior to 1994. For the lower stratosphere, investigations of the entire balloon-borne dataset over Boulder indicate higher values of mixing ratios after 1992–93 compared to the period 1980–92. In contrast, SAGE II monthly zonal mean measurements for 35°–45°N show insignificant differences between the periods 1987–89 and 1996–2004.

* Current affiliation: SSAI Corporation, Lanham, Maryland

Corresponding author address: Er-Woon Chiou, Adnet Systems, Inc., 7515 Mission Drive, Suite A1C1, Lanham, MD 20706. Email: echiou@sesda2.com

Abstract

The variability of stratospheric water vapor between 1996 and 2004 has been studied using multiyear measurements from the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II (SAGE II) version 6.2 dataset, the Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE) version 19 dataset, and the balloon-borne frost point hygrometer data record at Boulder, Colorado (40°N, 105°W). The features derived from SAGE II and HALOE for 20° latitudinal zones from 60°S to 60°N at various altitudes (16–34 km) show good quantitative agreement regarding the phases and magnitudes of annual, semiannual, and quasi-biennial oscillations (QBO). For the latitudinal zones 20°–40° and 40°–60°, the hemispheric asymmetry at 22 km with mainly QBO in the north and predominantly annual oscillations in the south has been revealed by both SAGE II and HALOE observations. Strong correlation exists between SAGE II and HALOE lower-stratospheric H2O anomalies over low latitudes and 100-hPa tropical zonal mean temperature anomalies. The correlation coefficients based on the 0°–20°S water vapor time series with H2O lagged by 2 months are 0.81 and 0.70 for HALOE and SAGE II, respectively. For 35°–45°N, SAGE II and HALOE show consistent trends generally varying from −0.05 to −0.02 ppmv yr−1 between 16 and 34 km. The corresponding analyses based on frost point measurements over Boulder show insignificant trends. These trends are not strongly dependent on the end points of the analysis and stand in contrast to the positive trends reported in previous studies that include data records prior to 1994. For the lower stratosphere, investigations of the entire balloon-borne dataset over Boulder indicate higher values of mixing ratios after 1992–93 compared to the period 1980–92. In contrast, SAGE II monthly zonal mean measurements for 35°–45°N show insignificant differences between the periods 1987–89 and 1996–2004.

* Current affiliation: SSAI Corporation, Lanham, Maryland

Corresponding author address: Er-Woon Chiou, Adnet Systems, Inc., 7515 Mission Drive, Suite A1C1, Lanham, MD 20706. Email: echiou@sesda2.com

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