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  • Author or Editor: Malgorzata Szczodrak x
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Malgorzata Szczodrak
Peter J. Minnett
Nicholas R. Nalli
, and
Wayne F. Feltz


Measurements of the spectra of infrared emission from the atmosphere were taken by a Marine-Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (M-AERI) deployed on the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown during the Aerosol and Ocean Science Expedition (AEROSE) in the tropical Atlantic Ocean from 29 February to 26 March 2004. The spectra are used to retrieve profiles of temperature and humidity in the lower troposphere up to a height of 3000 m. The M-AERI retrievals of the atmospheric structure require an initial guess profile. In this work, retrievals obtained from four separate initializations are compared, using 1) radiosondes launched from the Ronald H. Brown, 2) NOAA/NWS/NCEP model reanalyses, 3) ECMWF model analyses, and 4) ECMWF model forecasts. The performance of the M-AERI retrievals for all four first-guess sources is then evaluated against the radiosonde measurements. The M-AERI retrievals initialized using radiosondes reproduce the radiosonde profiles quite well and capture much of the observed vertical structure as should be expected. Of the retrievals initialized with model fields, those obtained using the ECMWF data yielded results closest to the radiosonde observations and enabled detection of the Saharan air layer (SAL) evident during AEROSE. However, the NCEP reanalysis, as well as the corresponding retrievals, failed to detect the SAL. These results demonstrate the ability of the M-AERI profile retrievals to identify the anomalous humidity distributions in the lower troposphere, but underscore the need for suitable vertical resolution in the first-guess profile used in the retrievals under such conditions.

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