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Bryan Mills Karpowicz, Yanqiu Zhu, Stephen Joseph Munchak, and Will McCarty

Abstract

Directly assimilating microwave radiances over land, snow, and sea ice remains a significant challenge for data assimilation systems. These data assimilation systems are critical to the success of global numerical weather prediction systems including the Global Earth Observing System–Atmospheric Data Assimilation System (GEOS-ADAS). Extending more surface sensitive microwave channels over land, snow, and ice could provide a needed source of data for numerical weather prediction particularly in the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Unfortunately, the accuracy of emissivity models currently available within the GEOS-ADAS along with other data assimilation systems are insufficient to simulate and assimilate radiances. Recently, Munchak et al. published a 5-yr climatological database for retrieved microwave emissivity from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI) aboard the GPM mission. In this work the database is utilized by modifying the GEOS-ADAS to use this emissivity database in place of the default emissivity value available in the Community Radiative Transfer Model (CRTM), which is the fast radiative transfer model used by the GEOS-ADAS. As a first step, the GEOS-ADAS is run in a so-called stand-alone mode to simulate radiances from GMI using the default CRTM emissivity, and replacing the default CRTM emissivity models with values from Munchak et al. The simulated GMI observations using Munchak et al. agree more closely with observations from GMI. These results are presented along with a discussion of the implication for GMI observations within the GEOS-ADAS.

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Jie Zhou, Hang Gao, Xuesong Wang, and Jianbing Li

Abstract

The hydrogen balloon is widely used for wind sensing by tracking it with optical theodolites. The traditional theodolite observation (single- and double-theodolite) methods assume that the balloon is a perfect tracer of the background wind and it rises with a constant speed during the whole observation period, but these assumptions may not hold well in complex wind circumstances. In this paper, an accurate wind field retrieval method based on multi-theodolite measurement is proposed. The extended Kalman filter algorithm is used to filter the angle data observed by the theodolites in order to accurately estimate the trajectory of the balloon, and the motion equation is used to correct the velocity difference between the background wind and the balloon. As a result, not only the horizontal velocity but also the vertical velocity can be accurately retrieved by this method. Numerical simulation and field experiments show that the multi-theodolite observation method excels the traditional single-theodolite method, and the velocity errors can be reduced by even more than 40% in comparison with the single-theodolite method for complex wind cases.

Significanace Statement

In the meteorological community, hydrogen balloon tracking is a widely used wind retrieval method, but the accuracy is limited, especially under complex wind conditions. In this paper, a new method based on tracking the hydrogen balloon with multi-theodolite is proposed, which uses the extended Kalman filter and the motion equation to get an accurate estimation of the balloon’s velocity and fix the inertia effect of balloon, respectively. Simulation and field experiment show that the new method can reduce the velocity error by more than 40% compared with the traditional method.

Open access
Shanyue Guan, Jennifer A. Bridge, Justin R. Davis, and Changzhi Li

Abstract

There is a demand for noncontact, high-accuracy, high-spatial-resolution, wireless sensing technologies for various water level and coastal monitoring applications. This paper presents a low-cost, compact, easily configurable interferometry radar for noncontact water level monitoring, including its hardware design, signal processing algorithms, and wireless communication strategies. Interferometry radar measures distance by comparing the phase lag between reflected and transmitted signals. Water level measurements using this approach have been demonstrated in a solitary wave laboratory experiment, a field deployment observing wave run-up near Ponte Vedra, Florida, and a field deployment observing waves and tides in the Sparkill Creek located in Piermont, New York. The experimental results from the radars with millimeter-level accuracy have been compared with reference sensors and demonstrate the potential of continuous wave radar for water level observations.

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Xuelei Feng, Richard Anthes, and Jeremiah Sjoberg

Abstract

Random errors (uncertainties) in COSMIC radio occultation (RO) soundings, ERA-Interim (ERAi) reanalyses, and high-resolution radiosondes (RS) are estimated in the northeast Pacific Ocean during the MAGIC campaign in 2012 and 2013 using the three-cornered hat method. Estimated refractivity and bending angle errors peak at ∼2 km, and have a secondary peak at ∼15 km. They are related to vertical and horizontal gradients of temperature and water vapor and associated atmospheric variability at these two levels. MAGIC RS refractivity and bending angles obtained from forward models have the largest uncertainties, followed by COSMIC RO soundings. ERAi has the smallest uncertainties. The large RS uncertainties can be primarily attributed to representativeness errors (differences). Differences in space and time of the RO and model datasets from the RS observations, error correlations among datasets, and the small sample size are other possible reasons contributing to these differences of estimated error statistics. RO temperature and humidity are retrieved from refractivity using a one-dimensional variational (1D-Var) method from the COSMIC Data Analysis and Archive Center (CDAAC). The estimated errors for COSMIC temperature are comparable to those of the MAGIC RS except near 1 km, where they are much higher. The estimated errors for COSMIC specific humidity are similar to the MAGIC specific humidity errors below ∼5 km and much smaller above this level. Estimates of COSMIC random errors based on ERAi, JRA-55, and MERRA-2 reanalyses in the same region, as well as comparison with estimates from other studies, support the reliability of our estimates.

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Robert Meneghini, Liang Liao, and Toshio Iguchi

Abstract

The dual-frequency ratio of radar reflectivity factors (DFR) has been shown to be a useful quantity as it is independent of the number concentration of the particle size distribution and primarily a function of the mass-weighted particle diameter Dm. A drawback of DFR-related methods for rain estimation, however, is the nonunique relationship between Dm and DFR. At Ku- and Ka-band frequencies, two solutions for Dm exist when DFR is less than zero. This ambiguity generates multiple solutions for the range profiles of the particle size parameters. We investigate characteristics of these solutions for both the initial-value (forward) and final-value (backward) forms of the equations. To choose one among many possible range profiles of Dm, number concentration, and rain rate R, independently measured path attenuations are used. For the backward approach, the possibility exists of dispensing with externally measured path attenuations by achieving consistency between the input and output path attenuations. The methods are tested by means of a simulation based on disdrometer-measured raindrop size distributions and the results are compared with a simplified version of the operational RDm method.

Open access
Theodore M. McHardy, James R. Campbell, David A. Peterson, Simone Lolli, Anne Garnier, Arunas P. Kuciauskas, Melinda L. Surratt, Jared W. Marquis, Steven D. Miller, Erica K. Dolinar, and Xiquan Dong

Abstract

This study develops a new thin cirrus detection algorithm applicable to overland scenes. The methodology builds from a previously developed overwater algorithm, which makes use of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 16 (GOES-16) Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) channel 4 radiance (1.378-μm “cirrus” band). Calibration of this algorithm is based on coincident Cloud–Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) cloud profiles. Emphasis is placed on rejection of false detections that are more common in overland scenes. Clear-sky false alarm rates over land are examined as a function of precipitable water vapor (PWV), showing that nearly all pixels having a PWV of <0.4 cm produce false alarms. Enforcing an above-cloud PWV minimum threshold of ∼1 cm ensures that most low-/midlevel clouds are not misclassified as cirrus by the algorithm. Pixel-filtering based on the total column PWV and the PWV for a layer between the top of the atmosphere (TOA) and a predetermined altitude H removes significant land surface and low-/midlevel cloud false alarms from the overall sample while preserving over 80% of valid cirrus pixels. Additionally, the use of an aggressive PWV layer threshold preferentially removes noncirrus pixels such that the remaining sample is composed of nearly 70% cirrus pixels, at the cost of a much-reduced overall sample size. This study shows that lower-tropospheric clouds are a much more significant source of uncertainty in cirrus detection than the land surface.

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Jongjin Seo, Timothy J. Wagner, P. Jonathan Gero, and David D. Turner

Abstract

Observing thermodynamic profiles within the planetary boundary layer is essential to understanding and predicting atmospheric phenomena because of the significant exchange of sensible and latent heat between the land and atmosphere within that layer. The Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) is a ground-based infrared spectrometer used to obtain the vertical profiles of temperature and water vapor mixing ratio. Most AERIs are only capable of zenith views, although the Marine AERI (M-AERI) has a design that allows it to view various elevation angles. In this study, we quantify the improvement in the information content and accuracy of the retrieved profiles when nonzenith angles are included, as is common with microwave radiometer profilers. The impacts of the additional scan angles are quantified through both a synthetic study and with M-AERI observations from the ARM Cloud Aerosol Precipitation Experiment (ACAPEX) campaign. The simulation study shows that low elevation angles contain more information content for temperature whereas high elevation angles have more information content for water vapor. Outside of very humid environments, the addition of low elevation angles also results in lower root-mean-square errors when compared with high angles for both temperature and water vapor mixing ratio, although this is primarily a result of averaging multiple observations together to reduce instrument noise. Real-world results from the ACAPEX dataset indicate similar results as were found for the simulation study, although not all predicted benefits are realized because of the small sample size and observational uncertainties.

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Stephen Haddad, Rachel E. Killick, Matthew D. Palmer, Mark J. Webb, Rachel Prudden, Francesco Capponi, and Samantha V. Adams

Abstract

Historical in situ ocean temperature profile measurements are important for a wide range of ocean and climate research activities. A large proportion of the profile observations have been recorded using expendable bathythermographs (XBTs), and required bias corrections for use in climate change studies. It is generally accepted that the bias, and therefore bias correction, depends on the type of XBT used. However, poor historical metadata collection practices mean the XBT probe type information is often missing, for 59% of profiles between 1967 and 2000, limiting the development of reliable bias corrections. We develop a process of estimating missing instrument type metadata (the combination of both model and manufacturer) systematically, constructing a machine learning pipeline based on thorough data exploration to inform these choices. The predicted instrument type, where missing, will facilitate improved XBT bias corrections. The new approach improves the accuracy of the XBT type classification compared to previous approaches from a recall value of 0.75–0.94. We also develop an approach to account for the uncertainty associated with metadata assignments using ensembles of decision trees, which could feed into an ensemble approach to creating ocean temperature datasets. We describe the challenges arising from the nature of the dataset in applying standard machine learning techniques to the problem. We have implemented this in a portable, reproducible way using standard data science tools, with a view to these techniques being applied to other similar problems in climate science.

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T. Tanaka, D. Hasegawa, T. Okunishi, I. Yasuda, and T. P. Welch

Abstract

The angle of attack (AOA) is the difference between the underwater glider’s path and pitch angle and is necessary to accurately estimate dead-reckoned position and depth-averaged velocity. The AOA is also important for any sensor measurements that are affected by the glider’s velocity through water, such as ocean turbulence measurement. A glider flight model is generally used to accurately estimate AOA and glider’s actual velocity based on the knowledge of lift and drag coefficients optimized for each glider. This paper examines the AOA of a Slocum glider using an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) to demonstrate a regression method to estimate these coefficients. Since the current shear was sufficiently small on average, it was reasonable to assume that the ADCP velocity at the nearest bin could capture the glider’s motion during flight and was used to calculate AOA. The lift and drag coefficients were optimized so the flight model estimated the observed pitch–AOA relationship derived from the ADCP and the glider’s pitch observations. The resultant coefficients also satisfied the vertical and horizontal constraints of glider motion and gave unbiased estimates of turbulence intensity derived from the flight model and ADCP. Our method was also applied to a SeaExplorer glider to derive the lift and drag coefficients for the first time. The observed pitch–AOA relationship was reasonably captured by the flight model with the resultant coefficients, suggesting that our method to estimate the lift and drag coefficient of underwater gliders can be applied to any type of underwater glider equipped with an ADCP.

Open access
Shengpeng Wang, Zhao Jing, Di Sun, Jian Shi, and Lixin Wu

Abstract

Marine heatwaves (MHWs) exert devastating impacts on ecosystems. Understanding their responses to anthropogenic forcing has attracted rapidly growing scientific interest. Given the disparate adaptation capacity and mobility among marine species, it is crucial to disentangle changes of MHWs related to the rising mean temperature from those to the changing temperature variability. It has been suggested that the latter’s effects could be isolated by replacing a fixed baseline with a moving one for calculating the climatological mean and percentile metrics in MHW analysis. In this study, the effects of a moving baseline on MHW statistics (annual MHW days and cumulative intensity) changes in a warming climate are systematically evaluated based on simulations from simple stochastic climate models and a set of coupled general circulation models in the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble project. On the one hand, a moving baseline does not necessarily remove the influences of rising mean temperature on MHW changes and will artificially cause negative trends in MHW statistics when the ocean exhibits an accelerated warming rate as in the RCP8.5 scenario. On the other hand, it always underestimates the effects of changing temperature variability on MHW changes. We propose a new model that adopts a “partial” moving baseline combined with a local linear detrending to isolate MHW changes caused by changing temperature variability.

Significance Statement

A new model is proposed to isolate marine heatwave changes caused by changing temperature variability from those by rising mean temperature under greenhouse warming.

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