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Zhetao Tan, Franco Reseghetti, John Abraham, Rebecca Cowley, Keyi Chen, Jiang Zhu, Bin Zhang, and Lijing Cheng

Abstract

Expendable bathythermographs (XBTs) have been widely deployed for ocean monitoring since the late 1960s. Improving the quality of XBT data is a vital task in climatology. Many factors (e.g., temperature, probe type, and manufacturing time) have been identified as major influences of XBT systematic bias. In addition, the recording system (RS) has long been suspected as another factor. However, this factor has not been taken into account in any global XBT correction schemes, partly because its impact is poorly understood. Here, based on analysis of an XBT–CTD side-by-side dataset and a global collocated reference dataset, the influence of RSs on the pure temperature error (PTE) is examined. Results show a clear time dependency of PTE on the RS, with maximum values occurring in the 1970s. In addition, the method used to convert thermistor resistance into temperature in the RS (using a resistance–temperature equation) has changed over time. These changes, together with the decadal changes in RSs, might contribute a small error (10% on average) to the RS dependency. Here, an improvement of global XBT bias correction that accounts for the RS dependency is proposed. However, more than 70% of historical global XBT data are missing RS-type information. We investigate several assumptions about the temporal distribution of RS types, and all scenarios lead to at least a ~50% reduction in the time variation of PTE compared with the uncorrected data. Therefore, the RS dependency should be taken into account in updated XBT correction schemes, which would have further implications for climatology studies.

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Baoqing Wang, Zhenzhen Tang, Yinuo Li, and Ningning Cai

Abstract

Particle trajectories around an aircraft will change during a flight; therefore, analyzing particle distribution around the aircraft is necessary to accurately sample aerosols. Both computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and wind tunnel experiments are employed to optimize the sampling zones around an aircraft. The wind tunnel model is the Harbin Y-12, similar to the Twin Otter and King Air. The aircraft head is taken as the coordinate original point. The coordinate X is parallel to the wings, the coordinate Y is parallel to the fuselage, and the coordinate Z is perpendicular to the fuselage. The results show that the closer the distance to the central line for the X direction is, the greater the velocity error is. A suitable position for sampling is under the fuselage because of low turbulence, convenient connection pipelines, and safety considerations. The shadow and enhancement zone area thicknesses gradually increase with increasing particle size. The shadow zone thickness under the fuselage is approximately 20, 70, 110, and 350 mm for particle sizes of 1, 10, 20, and 50 μm, respectively. The greater the distance from the aircraft head for the Y direction is, the smaller the velocity error is. The attack angle has no obvious effect on the flow speed at different positions. The CFD simulation results are in basic agreement with the wind tunnel experiment results. The optimal sampling zone is approximately 2300–6500 mm for the Y direction for the aircraft head, 250–500 mm for the X direction for the aircraft head, and 490–600 mm for the Z direction under the fuselage of aircraft.

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Haruhiko Kashiwase, Kay I. Ohshima, Kazuki Nakata, and Takeshi Tamura

Abstract

Long-term quantification of sea ice production in coastal polynyas (thin sea ice areas) is an important issue to understand the global overturning circulation and its changes. The Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I), which has nearly 30 years of observation, is a powerful tool for that purpose owing to its ability to detect thin ice areas. However, previous SSM/I thin ice thickness algorithms differ between regions, probably due to the difference in dominant type of thin sea ice in each region. In this study, we developed an SSM/I thin ice thickness algorithm that accounts for three types of thin sea ice (active frazil, thin solid ice, and a mixture of two types), using the polarization and gradient ratios. The algorithm is based on comparison with the ice thickness derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for 22 polynya events off the Ross Ice Shelf, off Cape Darnley, and off the Ronne Ice Shelf in the Southern Ocean. The algorithm can properly discriminate the ice type in coastal polynyas and estimate the thickness of thin sea ice (≤20 cm) with an error range of less than 6 cm. We also confirmed that the algorithm can be applied to other passive microwave radiometers with higher spatial resolution to obtain more accurate and detailed distributions of ice type and thickness. The validation of this algorithm in the Arctic Ocean suggests its applicability to the global oceans.

Open access
Norman Wildmann, Ramona Eckert, Andreas Dörnbrack, Sonja Gisinger, Markus Rapp, Klaus Ohlmann, and Annelize van Niekerk

Abstract

A Stemme S10-VT motor glider was equipped with a newly developed sensor suite consisting of a five-hole probe, an inertial navigation and global navigation satellite system, two temperature sensors, and a humidity sensor. By design, the system provides three-dimensional wind vector data that enable the analysis of atmospheric motion scales up to a temporal resolution of 10 Hz. We give a description of components and installation of the system, its calibration, and its performance. The accuracy for the measurement of the wind vector is estimated to be on the order of 0.5 m s−1. As part of the Southern Hemisphere Transport, Dynamics, and Chemistry (SouthTRAC) field campaign, 30 research flights were performed from September 2019 to January 2020. We present statistical analysis of the observations, discriminating pure motor flights from soaring flights in the lee waves of the Andes. We present histograms of flight altitude, airspeed, wind speed and direction, temperature, and relative humidity to document the atmospheric conditions. Probability density functions of vertical air velocity, turbulence kinetic energy (TKE), and dissipation rate complete the statistical analysis. Altogether, 41% of the flights are in weak, 14% in moderate, and 0.4% in strong mountain wave conditions according to thresholds for the measured vertical air velocity. As an exemplary case study, we compare measurements on 11 September 2019 to a high-resolution numerical weather prediction model. The case study provides a meaningful example of how data from soaring flights might be utilized for model validation on the mesoscale and within the troposphere.

Open access
Wen Chen, Rachel T. Pinker, Yingtao Ma, Glynn Hulley, Eva Borbas, Tanvir Islam, Kerry-A. Cawse-Nicholson, Simon Hook, Chris Hain, and Jeff Basara

ABSTRACT

Land surface temperature (LST) is an important climate parameter that controls the surface energy budget. For climate applications, information is needed at the global scale with representation of the diurnal cycle. To achieve global coverage there is a need to merge about five independent geostationary (GEO) satellites that have different observing capabilities. An issue of practical importance is the merging of independent satellite observations in areas of overlap. An optimal approach in such areas could eliminate the need for redundant computations by differently viewing satellites. We use a previously developed approach to derive information on LST from GOES-East (GOES-E), modify it for application to GOES-West (GOES-W) and implement it simultaneously across areas of overlap at 5-km spatial resolution. We evaluate the GOES-based LST against in situ observations and an independent MODIS product for the period of 2004–09. The methodology proposed minimizes differences between satellites in areas of overlap. The mean and median values of the differences in monthly mean LST retrieved from GOES-E and GOES-W at 0600 UTC for July are 0.01 and 0.11 K, respectively. Similarly, at 1800 UTC the respective mean and median value of the differences were 0.15 and 1.33 K. These findings can provide guidelines for potential users to decide whether the reported accuracy based on one satellite alone, meets their needs in area of overlap. Since the 6 yr record of LST was produced at hourly time scale, the data are well suited to address scientific issues that require the representation of LST diurnal cycle or the diurnal temperature range (DTR).

Open access
Florian Le Guillou, Sammy Metref, Emmanuel Cosme, Clément Ubelmann, Maxime Ballarotta, Julien Le Sommer, and Jacques Verron

Abstract

During the past 25 years, altimetric observations of the ocean surface from space have been mapped to provide two dimensional sea surface height (SSH) fields that are crucial for scientific research and operational applications. The SSH fields can be reconstructed from conventional altimetric data using temporal and spatial interpolation. For instance, the standard Developing Use of Altimetry for Climate Studies (DUACS) products are created with an optimal interpolation method that is effective for both low temporal and low spatial resolution. However, the upcoming next-generation SWOT mission will provide very high spatial resolution but with low temporal resolution. The present paper makes the case that this temporal–spatial discrepancy induces the need for new advanced mapping techniques involving information on the ocean dynamics. An algorithm is introduced, dubbed the BFN-QG, that uses a simple data assimilation method, the back-and-forth nudging (BNF), to interpolate altimetric data while respecting quasigeostrophic (QG) dynamics. The BFN-QG is tested in an observing system simulation experiments and compared to the DUACS products. The experiments consider as reference the high-resolution numerical model simulation NATL60 from which are produced realistic data: four conventional altimetric nadirs and SWOT data. In a combined nadirs and SWOT scenario, the BFN-QG substantially improves the mapping by reducing the root-mean-square errors and increasing the spectral effective resolution by 40 km. Also, the BFN-QG method can be adapted to combine large-scale corrections from nadir data and small-scale corrections from SWOT data so as to reduce the impact of SWOT correlated noises and still provide accurate SSH maps.

Open access
Petar Bukovčić, Alexander V. Ryzhkov, and Jacob T. Carlin

Abstract

The intrinsic uncertainty of radar-based retrievals in snow originates from a large diversity of snow growth habits, densities, and particle size distributions, all of which can make interpreting radar measurements of snow very challenging. The application of polarimetric radar for snow measurements can mitigate some of these issues. In this study, a novel polarimetric method for quantification of the extinction coefficient and visibility in snow, based on the joint use of radar reflectivity at horizontal polarization Z and specific differential phase K DP, is introduced. A large 2D-video-disdrometer snow dataset from central Oklahoma is used to derive a polarimetric bivariate power-law relation for the extinction coefficient, σe(KDP,Z)=γKDPαZβ. The relation is derived for particle aspect ratios ranging from 0.5 to 0.8 and the width of the canting angle distribution ranging from 0° to 40°, values typical of aggregated snow, and validated via theoretical and analytical derivations/simulations. The multiplier of the relation is sensitive to variations in particles’ densities, the width of the canting angle distribution, and particles’ aspect ratios, whereas the relation’s exponents are practically invariant to changes in the latter two parameters. This novel approach is applied to polarimetric S-band WSR-88D data and verified against previous studies and in situ measurements of the extinction coefficient for four snow events in the eastern United States. The polarimetric radar estimates of the extinction coefficient exhibit smaller biases in comparison to previous studies concerning the ground measurements. The results indicate that there is good potential for reliable radar estimates of visibility from polarimetric weather radars, a parameter inversely proportional to the extinction coefficient.

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Yi Luo, Xudong Liang, Gang Wang, and Zheng Cao

Abstract

In this study, we propose a new way to obtain motion vectors using the integrating velocity–azimuth process (IVAP) method for extrapolation nowcasting. Traditional tracking methods rely on tracking radar echoes of a few time slices. In contrast, the IVAP method does not depend on the past variation of radar echoes; it only needs the radar echo and radial velocity observations at the latest time. To demonstrate it is practical to use IVAP-retrieved winds to extrapolate radar echoes, we carried out nowcasting experiments using the IVAP method, and compared these results with the results using a traditional method, namely, the tracking radar echoes by correlation (TREC) method. Comparison based on a series of large-scale mature rainfall cases showed that the IVAP method has similar accuracy to that of the TREC method. In addition, the IVAP method provides the vertical wind profile that can be used to anticipate storm type and motion deviations.

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Mengnan Zhao, Rui M. Ponte, Ou Wang, and Rick Lumpkin

Abstract

Properly fitting ocean models to observations is crucial for improving model performance and understanding ocean dynamics. Near-surface velocity measurements from the Global Drifter Program (GDP) contain valuable information about upper-ocean circulation and air–sea fluxes on various space and time scales. This study explores whether GDP measurements can be used for usefully constraining the surface circulation from coarse-resolution ocean models, using global solutions produced by the consortium for Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) as an example. To address this problem, a careful examination of velocity data errors is required. Comparisons between an ECCO model simulation, performed without any data constraints, and GDP and Ocean Surface Current Analyses Real-Time (OSCAR) velocity data, over the period 1992–2017, reveal considerable differences in magnitude and pattern. These comparisons are used to estimate GDP data errors in the context of the time-mean and time-variable surface circulations. Both instrumental errors and errors associated with limitations in model physics and resolution (representation errors) are considered. Given the estimated model–data differences, errors, and signal-to-noise ratios, our results indicate that constraining ocean-state estimates to GDP can have a substantial impact on the ECCO large-scale time-mean surface circulation over extensive areas. Impact of GDP data constraints on the ECCO time-variable circulation would be weaker and mainly limited to low latitudes. Representation errors contribute substantially to degrading the data impacts.

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Hyun Mee Kim and Dae-Hui Kim

Abstract

In this study, the effect of boundary condition configurations in the regional Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model on the adjoint-based forecast sensitivity observation impact (FSOI) for 24 h forecast error reduction was evaluated. The FSOI has been used to diagnose the impact of observations on the forecast performance in several global and regional models. Different from the global model, in the regional model, the lateral boundaries affect forecasts and FSOI results. Several experiments with different lateral boundary conditions were conducted. The experimental period was from 1 to 14 June 2015. With or without data assimilation, the larger the buffer size in lateral boundary conditions, the smaller the forecast error. The nonlinear and linear forecast error reduction (i.e., observation impact) decreased as the buffer size increased, implying larger impact of lateral boundaries and smaller observation impact on the forecast error. In all experiments, in terms of observation types (variables), upper-air radiosonde observations (brightness temperature) exhibited the greatest observation impact. The ranking of observation impacts was consistent for observation types and variables among experiments with a constraint in the response function at the upper boundary. The fractions of beneficial observations were approximately 60%, and did not considerably vary depending on the boundary conditions specified when calculating the FSOI in the regional modeling framework.

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