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  • Author or Editor: Virginie Thierry x
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Fiona Hilton, Raymond Armante, Thomas August, Chris Barnet, Aurelie Bouchard, Claude Camy-Peyret, Virginie Capelle, Lieven Clarisse, Cathy Clerbaux, Pierre-Francois Coheur, Andrew Collard, Cyril Crevoisier, Gaelle Dufour, David Edwards, Francois Faijan, Nadia Fourrié, Antonia Gambacorta, Mitchell Goldberg, Vincent Guidard, Daniel Hurtmans, Samuel Illingworth, Nicole Jacquinet-Husson, Tobias Kerzenmacher, Dieter Klaes, Lydie Lavanant, Guido Masiello, Marco Matricardi, Anthony McNally, Stuart Newman, Edward Pavelin, Sebastien Payan, Eric Péquignot, Sophie Peyridieu, Thierry Phulpin, John Remedios, Peter Schlüssel, Carmine Serio, Larrabee Strow, Claudia Stubenrauch, Jonathan Taylor, David Tobin, Walter Wolf, and Daniel Zhou

The Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) forms the main infrared sounding component of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites's (EUMETSAT's) Meteorological Operation (MetOp)-A satellite (Klaes et al. 2007), which was launched in October 2006. This article presents the results of the first 4 yr of the operational IASI mission. The performance of the instrument is shown to be exceptional in terms of calibration and stability. The quality of the data has allowed the rapid use of the observations in operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) and the development of new products for atmospheric chemistry and climate studies, some of which were unexpected before launch. The assimilation of IASI observations in NWP models provides a significant forecast impact; in most cases the impact has been shown to be at least as large as for any previous instrument. In atmospheric chemistry, global distributions of gases, such as ozone and carbon monoxide, can be produced in near–real time, and short-lived species, such as ammonia or methanol, can be mapped, allowing the identification of new sources. The data have also shown the ability to track the location and chemistry of gaseous plumes and particles associated with volcanic eruptions and fires, providing valuable data for air quality monitoring and aircraft safety. IASI also contributes to the establishment of robust long-term data records of several essential climate variables. The suite of products being developed from IASI continues to expand as the data are investigated, and further impacts are expected from increased use of the data in NWP and climate studies in the coming years. The instrument has set a high standard for future operational hyperspectral infrared sounders and has demonstrated that such instruments have a vital role in the global observing system.

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M. Susan Lozier, Sheldon Bacon, Amy S. Bower, Stuart A. Cunningham, M. Femke de Jong, Laura de Steur, Brad deYoung, Jürgen Fischer, Stefan F. Gary, Blair J. W. Greenan, Patrick Heimbach, Naomi P. Holliday, Loïc Houpert, Mark E. Inall, William E. Johns, Helen L. Johnson, Johannes Karstensen, Feili Li, Xiaopei Lin, Neill Mackay, David P. Marshall, Herlé Mercier, Paul G. Myers, Robert S. Pickart, Helen R. Pillar, Fiammetta Straneo, Virginie Thierry, Robert A. Weller, Richard G. Williams, Chris Wilson, Jiayan Yang, Jian Zhao, and Jan D. Zika


For decades oceanographers have understood the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) to be primarily driven by changes in the production of deep-water formation in the subpolar and subarctic North Atlantic. Indeed, current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections of an AMOC slowdown in the twenty-first century based on climate models are attributed to the inhibition of deep convection in the North Atlantic. However, observational evidence for this linkage has been elusive: there has been no clear demonstration of AMOC variability in response to changes in deep-water formation. The motivation for understanding this linkage is compelling, since the overturning circulation has been shown to sequester heat and anthropogenic carbon in the deep ocean. Furthermore, AMOC variability is expected to impact this sequestration as well as have consequences for regional and global climates through its effect on the poleward transport of warm water. Motivated by the need for a mechanistic understanding of the AMOC, an international community has assembled an observing system, Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP), to provide a continuous record of the transbasin fluxes of heat, mass, and freshwater, and to link that record to convective activity and water mass transformation at high latitudes. OSNAP, in conjunction with the Rapid Climate Change–Meridional Overturning Circulation and Heatflux Array (RAPID–MOCHA) at 26°N and other observational elements, will provide a comprehensive measure of the three-dimensional AMOC and an understanding of what drives its variability. The OSNAP observing system was fully deployed in the summer of 2014, and the first OSNAP data products are expected in the fall of 2017.

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