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Nicholas R. Nalli
,
Everette Joseph
,
Vernon R. Morris
,
Christopher D. Barnet
,
Walter W. Wolf
,
Daniel Wolfe
,
Peter J. Minnett
,
Malgorzata Szczodrak
,
Miguel A. Izaguirre
,
Rick Lumpkin
,
Hua Xie
,
Alexander Smirnov
,
Thomas S. King
, and
Jennifer Wei

This paper gives an overview of a unique set of ship-based atmospheric data acquired over the tropical Atlantic Ocean during boreal spring and summer as part of ongoing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aerosols and Ocean Science Expedition (AEROSE) field campaigns. Following the original 2004 campaign onboard the Ronald H. Brown, AEROSE has operated on a yearly basis since 2006 in collaboration with the NOAA Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) Northeast Extension (PNE). In this work, attention is given to atmospheric soundings of ozone, temperature, water vapor, pressure, and wind obtained from ozonesondes and radiosondes launched to coincide with low earth orbit environmental satellite overpasses [MetOp and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) A-Train]. Data from the PNE/ AEROSE campaigns are unique in their range of marine meteorological phenomena germane to the satellite missions in question, including dust and smoke outflows from Africa, the Saharan air layer (SAL), and the distribution of tropical water vapor and tropical Atlantic ozone. The multiyear PNE/AEROSE sounding data are valuable as correlative data for prelaunch phase validation of the planned Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and NOAA Geosynchronous Operational Environmental Satellite R series (GOES-R) systems, as well as numerous other science applications. A brief summary of these data, along with an overview of some important science highlights, including meteorological phenomena of general interest, is presented.

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AIRS

Improving Weather Forecasting and Providing New Data on Greenhouse Gases

MOUSTAFA T. CHAHINE
,
THOMAS S. PAGANO
,
HARTMUT H. AUMANN
,
ROBERT ATLAS
,
CHRISTOPHER BARNET
,
JOHN BLAISDELL
,
LUKE CHEN
,
MURTY DIVAKARLA
,
ERIC J. FETZER
,
MITCH GOLDBERG
,
CATHERINE GAUTIER
,
STEPHANIE GRANGER
,
SCOTT HANNON
,
FREDRICK W. IRION
,
RAMESH KAKAR
,
EUGENIA KALNAY
,
BJORN H. LAMBRIGTSEN
,
SUNG-YUNG LEE
,
JOHN Le MARSHALL
,
W. WALLACE MCMILLAN
,
LARRY MCMILLIN
,
EDWARD T. OLSEN
,
HENRY REVERCOMB
,
PHILIP ROSENKRANZ
,
WILLIAM L. SMITH
,
DAVID STAELIN
,
L. LARRABEE STROW
,
JOEL SUSSKIND
,
DAVID TOBIN
,
WALTER WOLF
, and
LIHANG ZHOU

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and its two companion microwave sounders, AMSU and HSB were launched into polar orbit onboard the NASA Aqua Satellite in May 2002. NASA required the sounding system to provide high-quality research data for climate studies and to meet NOAA's requirements for improving operational weather forecasting. The NOAA requirement translated into global retrieval of temperature and humidity profiles with accuracies approaching those of radiosondes. AIRS also provides new measurements of several greenhouse gases, such as CO2, CO, CH4, O3, SO2, and aerosols.

The assimilation of AIRS data into operational weather forecasting has already demonstrated significant improvements in global forecast skill. At NOAA/NCEP, the improvement in the forecast skill achieved at 6 days is equivalent to gaining an extension of forecast capability of six hours. This improvement is quite significant when compared to other forecast improvements over the last decade. In addition to NCEP, ECMWF and the Met Office have also reported positive forecast impacts due AIRS.

AIRS is a hyperspectral sounder with 2,378 infrared channels between 3.7 and 15.4 μm. NOAA/NESDIS routinely distributes AIRS data within 3 hours to NWP centers around the world. The AIRS design represents a breakthrough in infrared space instrumentation with measurement stability and accuracies far surpassing any current research or operational sounder..The results we describe in this paper are “work in progress,” and although significant accomplishments have already been made much more work remains in order to realize the full potential of this suite of instruments.

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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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