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Ronald Gelaro, Will McCarty, Max J. Suárez, Ricardo Todling, Andrea Molod, Lawrence Takacs, Cynthia A. Randles, Anton Darmenov, Michael G. Bosilovich, Rolf Reichle, Krzysztof Wargan, Lawrence Coy, Richard Cullather, Clara Draper, Santha Akella, Virginie Buchard, Austin Conaty, Arlindo M. da Silva, Wei Gu, Gi-Kong Kim, Randal Koster, Robert Lucchesi, Dagmar Merkova, Jon Eric Nielsen, Gary Partyka, Steven Pawson, William Putman, Michele Rienecker, Siegfried D. Schubert, Meta Sienkiewicz, and Bin Zhao

also capable of assimilating microwave and hyperspectral infrared radiances from planned future satellites, including MetOp-C and JPSS. The temporary spike in the number of QuikSCAT data assimilated in MERRA-2 in late 2000 is due to an error in preprocessing, which led to observations beyond the midswath “sweet spot” being used in the analysis. This has no discernible impact on the quality of the analyzed fields or on the use of other observations in the assimilation system. Fig . 1. Observations

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Allison B. Marquardt Collow and Mark A. Miller

the MPL cloud mask is available for the entire year of 2014. Liquid water path and integrated water vapor were measured by a line-of-sight microwave radiometer every 20 s, and these data have undergone extensive quality control ( Cadeddu 1993 ). Aerosols are assessed using observations from a cloud condensation nuclei counter ( Jefferson et al. 2010 ). Quality control through the ARM data stream protocol has been applied to all AMF1 observations. A true analysis of the energy budget must include

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Krzysztof Wargan, Gordon Labow, Stacey Frith, Steven Pawson, Nathaniel Livesey, and Gary Partyka

an added value brought to satellite observations of ozone through data assimilation. In particular, work done at the GMAO over the past decade has shown that assimilation of retrieved ozone data from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) along with total ozone observations from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), both onboard the Earth Observing System (EOS) Aura satellite, produces realistic global distributions of ozone in the stratosphere and upper troposphere ( Stajner et al. 2008 ; Wargan

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Michael G. Bosilovich, Franklin R. Robertson, Lawrence Takacs, Andrea Molod, and David Mocko

present. While several uncertainties exist, including greater uncertainty before routine microwave observations were included in late 1987 and also some variations when those become limited, the estimates are as reliable as we have for the entire globe. Remote Sensing Systems (2016) provides total precipitable water observations using SSM/I instruments over ice-free ocean areas. Mears and Wentz (2009) describe the RSS observations of the temperature of the lower troposphere, available globally

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Richard I. Cullather and Sophie M. J. Nowicki

during the day of largest melt area, in agreement with observations ( Bennartz et al. 2013 ). Fig . 10. MERRA-2 fields of (a) sea level pressure and 10-m winds and (b) total cloud fraction for 0000 UTC 11 Jul 2012. Sea level pressure is contoured every 1 hPa, and wind vectors are shown in m s −1 . Cloud fraction is contoured for every 0.05. MEaSUREs surface melt from passive microwave data is indicated with hatching. A significant event occurred over the period 14–19 July 1989, in which roughly 35

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Krzysztof Wargan and Lawrence Coy

warm winters in the Arctic stratosphere since the late 1990s . J. Geophys. Res. , 110 , D04107 , doi: 10.1029/2004JD005367 . Manney , G. L. , and Coauthors , 2008 : The evolution of the stratopause during the 2006 major warming: Satellite data and assimilated meteorological analyses . J. Geophys. Res. , 113 , D11115 , doi: 10.1029/2007JD009097 . Manney , G. L. , and Coauthors , 2009 : Aura Microwave Limb Sounder observations of dynamics and transport during the record-breaking 2009

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Rolf H. Reichle, Q. Liu, Randal D. Koster, Clara S. Draper, Sarith P. P. Mahanama, and Gary S. Partyka

/ ). MERRA-2 replaces the original MERRA reanalysis ( Rienecker et al. 2011 ) and includes updates to the AGCM ( Molod et al. 2012 , 2015 ) and to the Global Statistical Interpolation atmospheric analysis scheme of Wu et al. (2002) . In addition to the atmospheric in situ and remotely sensed observations used in MERRA, the MERRA-2 system also ingests observations from newer microwave sounders and hyperspectral infrared radiance instruments, and other new data types. Moreover, MERRA-2 preserves the

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Rolf H. Reichle, Clara S. Draper, Q. Liu, Manuela Girotto, Sarith P. P. Mahanama, Randal D. Koster, and Gabrielle J. M. De Lannoy

1. Introduction Retrospective analysis (reanalysis) data products are based on the assimilation of a vast number of in situ and remote sensing observations into an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) and provide global, subdaily estimates of atmospheric and land surface conditions across several decades. The recent Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2; Gelaro et al. 2016, manuscript submitted to J. Climate ), provides data beginning in

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Lawrence Coy, Krzysztof Wargan, Andrea M. Molod, William R. McCarty, and Steven Pawson

analyses that are especially appropriate for QBO studies, as reanalyses lack the possibly disruptive upgrades of archived operational numerical weather prediction systems. Since the observations are not uniformly distributed in the stratosphere, improvements in the model dynamics to better represent the QBO along with improved algorithms for weighting and blending observations should lead to improved equatorial zonal mean winds and temperatures. Another consideration when using reanalyses to study the

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Franklin R. Robertson, Michael G. Bosilovich, and Jason B. Roberts

; Kobayashi et al. 2015 ) that blend diverse measurements of wind, moisture, and temperature as well as other observations with first-guess estimates from model short-term forecasts. While reanalyses effectively reconcile observations with physically based dynamical models, there are a number of practical problems that result in moisture transport fields typically having substantial systematic time-dependent biases ( Trenberth et al. 2011 ; Robertson et al. 2011 ; Lorenz and Kunstmann 2012 ; Trenberth

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