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Anders V. Lindfors, Ian A. Mackenzie, Simon F. B. Tett, and Lei Shi

Abstract

A climatology of the diurnal cycles of HIRS clear-sky brightness temperatures was developed based on measurements over the period 2002–07. This was done by fitting a Fourier series to monthly gridded brightness temperatures of HIRS channels 1–12. The results show a strong land–sea contrast with stronger diurnal cycles over land, and extending from the surface up to HIRS channel 6 or 5, with regional maxima over the subtropics. Over seas, the diurnal cycles are generally small and therefore challenging to detect. A Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis showed that more robust results are reached by aggregating the data zonally before applying the fit. The zonal fits indicate that small diurnal cycles do exist over sea. The results imply that for a long-lived satellite such as NOAA-14, drift in the overpass time can cause a diurnal sampling bias of more than 5 K for channel 8 (surface and lower troposphere).

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