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Changyong Cao, Wenhui Wang, Erin Lynch, Yan Bai, Shu-peng Ho, and Bin Zhang


Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) radio occultation (RO) is a remote sensing technique that uses International System of Units (SI) traceable GNSS signals for atmospheric limb soundings. The retrieved atmospheric temperature profile is believed to be more accurate and stable than those from other remote sensing techniques, although rigorous comparison between independent measurements is difficult because of time and space differences between individual RO events. Typical RO comparisons are based on global statistics with relaxed matchup criteria (within 3 h and 250 km) that are less than optimal given the dynamic nature and spatial nonuniformity of the atmosphere. This study presents a novel method that allows for direct comparison of bending angles when simultaneous RO measurements occur near the simultaneous nadir overpasses (SNO) of two low-Earth-orbit satellites receiving the same GNSS signal passing through approximately the same atmosphere, within minutes in time and less than 125 km in distance. Using this method, we found very good agreement between Formosa Satellite 7 (FORMOSAT-7)/second Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC-2) satellite measurements and those from MetOp-A/B/C, COSMIC-1, Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite 5 (KOMPSAT-5), and Paz, although systematic biases are also found in some of the intercomparisons. Instrument and processing algorithm performances at different altitudes are also characterized. It is expected that this method can be used for the validation of GNSS RO measurements for most missions and would be a new addition to the tools for intersatellite calibration. This is especially important given the large number of RO measurements made available both publicly and commercially, and the expansion of receiver capabilities to all GNSS systems.

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Danchen Yan, Tianyu Zhang, Shaomei Yu, Yun Li, YanQiang Wang, and Bin Wang


The winding-angle (WA) method is an automatic eddy detection method based on the geometric characteristics of instantaneous streamlines. The original WA method clusters closed streamlines using a predetermined threshold. It is difficult to obtain a common threshold for accurately clustering various mesoscale eddies with variable shapes and dimensions. Moreover, the original WA method is not suitable for detecting multicore structures. In this paper, an improved WA method was proposed to more accurately identify mesoscale eddies and to detect multicore structures. It does not depend on the previously used clustering threshold; rather, it is based on the spatial relationships of streamlines to detect mesoscale eddies of various types and dimensions. Streamlines are matched with possible eddy centers (PCs), which are then grouped into different “related groups” according to the containment relationships between them and the outermost streamlines of the groups. Each group represents a vortex structure, and the number of PCs in each group represents the number of eddy cores. The eddy boundaries and eddy cores of multicore structures represented by multi-PC groups are identified by topological relationships of the streamlines. The time requirement of the improved method is higher than that of the original algorithm, although it does not demand additional memory space and utilizes fewer CPU resources. More importantly, the improved method provides more accurate identification results and greatly refines the incorrect identifications from the original method induced by the predetermined threshold. Success metrics for the improved WA method are also more desirable relative to those for the original and other commonly used methods.

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Zhetao Tan, Franco Reseghetti, John Abraham, Rebecca Cowley, Keyi Chen, Jiang Zhu, Bin Zhang, and Lijing Cheng


Expendable bathythermographs (XBTs) have been widely deployed for ocean monitoring since the late 1960s. Improving the quality of XBT data is a vital task in climatology. Many factors (e.g., temperature, probe type, and manufacturing time) have been identified as major influences of XBT systematic bias. In addition, the recording system (RS) has long been suspected as another factor. However, this factor has not been taken into account in any global XBT correction schemes, partly because its impact is poorly understood. Here, based on analysis of an XBT–CTD side-by-side dataset and a global collocated reference dataset, the influence of RSs on the pure temperature error (PTE) is examined. Results show a clear time dependency of PTE on the RS, with maximum values occurring in the 1970s. In addition, the method used to convert thermistor resistance into temperature in the RS (using a resistance–temperature equation) has changed over time. These changes, together with the decadal changes in RSs, might contribute a small error (10% on average) to the RS dependency. Here, an improvement of global XBT bias correction that accounts for the RS dependency is proposed. However, more than 70% of historical global XBT data are missing RS-type information. We investigate several assumptions about the temporal distribution of RS types, and all scenarios lead to at least a ~50% reduction in the time variation of PTE compared with the uncorrected data. Therefore, the RS dependency should be taken into account in updated XBT correction schemes, which would have further implications for climatology studies.

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