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Eui-Seok Chung, Brian J. Soden, and Viju O. John

Abstract

This paper analyzes the growing archive of 183-GHz water vapor absorption band measurements from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit B (AMSU-B) and Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS) on board polar-orbiting satellites and document adjustments necessary to use the data for long-term climate monitoring. The water vapor channels located at 183.31 ± 1 GHz and 183.31 ± 3 GHz are sensitive to upper- and midtropospheric relative humidity and less prone to the clear-sky sampling bias than infrared measurements, making them a valuable but underutilized source of information on free-tropospheric water vapor. A method for the limb correction of the satellite viewing angle based upon a simplified model of radiative transfer is introduced to remove the scan angle dependence of the radiances. Biases due to the difference in local observation time between satellites and spurious trends associated with satellite orbital drift are then diagnosed and adjusted for using synthetic radiative simulations based on the Interim European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim). The adjusted, cloud-filtered, and limb-corrected brightness temperatures are then intercalibrated using zonal-mean brightness temperature differences. It is found that these correction procedures significantly improve consistency and quantitative agreement between microwave radiometric satellite observations that can be used to monitor upper- and midtropospheric water vapor. The resulting radiances are converted to estimates of the deep-layer-mean upper- and midtropospheric relative humidity, and can be used to evaluate trends in upper-tropospheric relative humidity from reanalysis datasets and coupled ocean–atmosphere models.

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Ajil Kottayil, Stefan A. Buehler, Viju O. John, Larry M. Miloshevich, M. Milz, and G. Holl

Abstract

A study has been carried out to assess the importance of radiosonde corrections in improving the agreement between satellite and radiosonde measurements of upper-tropospheric humidity. Infrared [High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS)-12] and microwave [Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU)-18] measurements from the NOAA-17 satellite were used for this purpose. The agreement was assessed by comparing the satellite measurements against simulated measurements using collocated radiosonde profiles of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program undertaken at tropical and midlatitude sites. The Atmospheric Radiative Transfer Simulator (ARTS) was used to simulate the satellite radiances. The comparisons have been done under clear-sky conditions, separately for daytime and nighttime soundings. Only Vaisala RS92 radiosonde sensors were used and an empirical correction (EC) was applied to the radiosonde measurements. The EC includes correction for mean calibration bias and for solar radiation error, and it removes radiosonde bias relative to three instruments of known accuracy. For the nighttime dataset, the EC significantly reduces the bias from 0.63 to −0.10 K in AMSU-18 and from 1.26 to 0.35 K in HIRS-12. The EC has an even greater impact on the daytime dataset with a bias reduction from 2.38 to 0.28 K in AMSU-18 and from 2.51 to 0.59 K in HIRS-12. The present study promises a more accurate approach in future radiosonde-based studies in the upper troposphere.

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Miriam Tivig, Verena Grützun, Viju O. John, and Stefan A. Buehler

Abstract

Subtropical dry zones, located in the Hadley cells’ subsidence regions, strongly influence regional climate as well as outgoing longwave radiation. Changes in these dry zones could have significant impact on surface climate as well as on the atmospheric energy budget. This study investigates the behavior of upper-tropospheric dry zones in a changing climate, using the variable upper-tropospheric humidity (UTH), calculated from climate model experiment output as well as from radiances measured with satellite-based sensors. The global UTH distribution shows that dry zones form a belt in the subtropical winter hemisphere. In the summer hemisphere they concentrate over the eastern ocean basins, where the descent regions of the subtropical anticyclones are located. Recent studies with model and satellite data have found tendencies of increasing dryness at the poleward edges of the subtropical subsidence zones. However, UTH calculated from climate simulations with 25 models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) shows these tendencies only for parts of the winter-hemispheric dry belts. In the summer hemisphere, even though differences exist between the simulations, UTH is increasing in most dry zones, particularly in the South and North Pacific Ocean. None of the summer dry zones is expanding in these simulations. Upper-tropospheric dry zones estimated from observational data do not show any robust signs of change since 1979. Apart from a weak drying tendency at the poleward edge of the southern winter-hemispheric dry belt in infrared measurements, nothing indicates that the subtropical dry belts have expanded poleward.

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Stefan Brönnimann, Rob Allan, Christopher Atkinson, Roberto Buizza, Olga Bulygina, Per Dahlgren, Dick Dee, Robert Dunn, Pedro Gomes, Viju O. John, Sylvie Jourdain, Leopold Haimberger, Hans Hersbach, John Kennedy, Paul Poli, Jouni Pulliainen, Nick Rayner, Roger Saunders, Jörg Schulz, Alexander Sterin, Alexander Stickler, Holly Titchner, Maria Antonia Valente, Clara Ventura, and Clive Wilkinson

Abstract

Global dynamical reanalyses of the atmosphere and ocean fundamentally rely on observations, not just for the assimilation (i.e., for the definition of the state of the Earth system components) but also in many other steps along the production chain. Observations are used to constrain the model boundary conditions, for the calibration or uncertainty determination of other observations, and for the evaluation of data products. This requires major efforts, including data rescue (for historical observations), data management (including metadatabases), compilation and quality control, and error estimation. The work on observations ideally occurs one cycle ahead of the generation cycle of reanalyses, allowing the reanalyses to make full use of it. In this paper we describe the activities within ERA-CLIM2, which range from surface, upper-air, and Southern Ocean data rescue to satellite data recalibration and from the generation of snow-cover products to the development of a global station data metadatabase. The project has not produced new data collections. Rather, the data generated has fed into global repositories and will serve future reanalysis projects. The continuation of this effort is first contingent upon the organization of data rescue and also upon a series of targeted research activities to address newly identified in situ and satellite records.

Open access
Paul Poli, Dick P. Dee, Roger Saunders, Viju O. John, Peter Rayer, Jörg Schulz, Kenneth Holmlund, Dorothee Coppens, Dieter Klaes, James E. Johnson, Asghar E. Esfandiari, Irina V. Gerasimov, Emily B. Zamkoff, Atheer F. Al-Jazrawi, David Santek, Mirko Albani, Pascal Brunel, Karsten Fennig, Marc Schröder, Shinya Kobayashi, Dieter Oertel, Wolfgang Döhler, Dietrich Spänkuch, and Stephan Bojinski

Abstract

To better understand the impacts of climate change, environmental monitoring capabilities must be enhanced by deploying additional and more accurate satellite- and ground-based (including in situ) sensors. In addition, reanalysis of observations collected decades ago but long forgotten can unlock precious information about the recent past. Historical, in situ observations mainly cover densely inhabited areas and frequently traveled routes. In contrast, large selections of early meteorological satellite data, waiting to be exploited today, provide information about remote areas unavailable from any other source. When initially collected, these satellite data posed great challenges to transmission and archiving facilities. As a result, data access was limited to the main teams of scientific investigators associated with the instruments. As archive media have aged, so have the mission scientists and other pioneers of satellite meteorology, who sometimes retired in possession of unique and unpublished information.

This paper presents examples of recently recovered satellite data records, including satellite imagery, early infrared hyperspectral soundings, and early microwave humidity soundings. Their value for climate applications today can be realized using methods and techniques that were not yet available when the data were first collected, including efficient and accurate observation simulators and data assimilation into reanalyses. Modern technical infrastructure allows serving entire mission datasets online, enabling easy access and exploration by a broad range of users, including new and old generations of climate scientists.

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Vinia Mattioli, Christophe Accadia, Catherine Prigent, Susanne Crewell, Alan Geer, Patrick Eriksson, Stuart Fox, Juan R. Pardo, Eli J. Mlawer, Maria Cadeddu, Michael Bremer, Carlos De Breuck, Alain Smette, Domenico Cimini, Emma Turner, Mario Mech, Frank S. Marzano, Pascal Brunel, Jerome Vidot, Ralf Bennartz, Tobias Wehr, Sabatino Di Michele, and Viju O. John
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Roberto Buizza, Stefan Brönnimann, Leopold Haimberger, Patrick Laloyaux, Matthew J. Martin, Manuel Fuentes, Magdalena Alonso-Balmaseda, Andreas Becker, Michael Blaschek, Per Dahlgren, Eric de Boisseson, Dick Dee, Marie Doutriaux-Boucher, Xiangbo Feng, Viju O. John, Keith Haines, Sylvie Jourdain, Yuki Kosaka, Daniel Lea, Florian Lemarié, Michael Mayer, Palmira Messina, Coralie Perruche, Philippe Peylin, Jounie Pullainen, Nick Rayner, Elke Rustemeier, Dinand Schepers, Roger Saunders, Jörg Schulz, Alexander Sterin, Sebastian Stichelberger, Andrea Storto, Charles-Emmanuel Testut, Maria-Antóonia Valente, Arthur Vidard, Nicolas Vuichard, Anthony Weaver, James While, and Markus Ziese

Abstract

The European Reanalysis of Global Climate Observations 2 (ERA-CLIM2) is a European Union Seventh Framework Project started in January 2014 and due to be completed in December 2017. It aims to produce coupled reanalyses, which are physically consistent datasets describing the evolution of the global atmosphere, ocean, land surface, cryosphere, and the carbon cycle. ERA-CLIM2 has contributed to advancing the capacity for producing state-of-the-art climate reanalyses that extend back to the early twentieth century. ERA-CLIM2 has led to the generation of the first European ensemble of coupled ocean, sea ice, land, and atmosphere reanalyses of the twentieth century. The project has funded work to rescue and prepare observations and to advance the data-assimilation systems required to generate operational reanalyses, such as the ones planned by the European Union Copernicus Climate Change Service. This paper summarizes the main goals of the project, discusses some of its main areas of activities, and presents some of its key results.

Open access
M. Ades, R. Adler, Rob Allan, R. P. Allan, J. Anderson, Anthony Argüez, C. Arosio, J. A. Augustine, C. Azorin-Molina, J. Barichivich, J. Barnes, H. E. Beck, Andreas Becker, Nicolas Bellouin, Angela Benedetti, David I. Berry, Stephen Blenkinsop, Olivier. Bock, Michael G. Bosilovich, Olivier. Boucher, S. A. Buehler, Laura. Carrea, Hanne H. Christiansen, F. Chouza, John R. Christy, E.-S. Chung, Melanie Coldewey-Egbers, Gil P. Compo, Owen R. Cooper, Curt Covey, A. Crotwell, Sean M. Davis, Elvira de Eyto, Richard A. M de Jeu, B.V. VanderSat, Curtis L. DeGasperi, Doug Degenstein, Larry Di Girolamo, Martin T. Dokulil, Markus G. Donat, Wouter A. Dorigo, Imke Durre, Geoff S. Dutton, G. Duveiller, James W. Elkins, Vitali E. Fioletov, Johannes Flemming, Michael J. Foster, Richard A. Frey, Stacey M. Frith, Lucien Froidevaux, J. Garforth, S. K. Gupta, Leopold Haimberger, Brad D. Hall, Ian Harris, Andrew K Heidinger, D. L. Hemming, Shu-peng (Ben) Ho, Daan Hubert, Dale F. Hurst, I. Hüser, Antje Inness, K. Isaksen, Viju John, Philip D. Jones, J. W. Kaiser, S. Kelly, S. Khaykin, R. Kidd, Hyungiun Kim, Z. Kipling, B. M. Kraemer, D. P. Kratz, R. S. La Fuente, Xin Lan, Kathleen O. Lantz, T. Leblanc, Bailing Li, Norman G Loeb, Craig S. Long, Diego Loyola, Wlodzimierz Marszelewski, B. Martens, Linda May, Michael Mayer, M. F. McCabe, Tim R. McVicar, Carl A. Mears, W. Paul Menzel, Christopher J. Merchant, Ben R. Miller, Diego G. Miralles, Stephen A. Montzka, Colin Morice, Jens Mühle, R. Myneni, Julien P. Nicolas, Jeannette Noetzli, Tim J. Osborn, T. Park, A. Pasik, Andrew M. Paterson, Mauri S. Pelto, S. Perkins-Kirkpatrick, G. Pétron, C. Phillips, Bernard Pinty, S. Po-Chedley, L. Polvani, W. Preimesberger, M. Pulkkanen, W. J. Randel, Samuel Rémy, L. Ricciardulli, A. D. Richardson, L. Rieger, David A. Robinson, Matthew Rodell, Karen H. Rosenlof, Chris Roth, A. Rozanov, James A. Rusak, O. Rusanovskaya, T. Rutishäuser, Ahira Sánchez-Lugo, P. Sawaengphokhai, T. Scanlon, Verena Schenzinger, S. Geoffey Schladow, R. W Schlegel, Eawag Schmid, Martin, H. B. Selkirk, S. Sharma, Lei Shi, S. V. Shimaraeva, E. A. Silow, Adrian J. Simmons, C. A. Smith, Sharon L Smith, B. J. Soden, Viktoria Sofieva, T. H. Sparks, Paul W. Stackhouse Jr., Wolfgang Steinbrecht, Dimitri A. Streletskiy, G. Taha, Hagen Telg, S. J. Thackeray, M. A. Timofeyev, Kleareti Tourpali, Mari R. Tye, Ronald J. van der A, Robin, VanderSat B.V. van der Schalie, Gerard van der SchrierW. Paul, Guido R. van der Werf, Piet Verburg, Jean-Paul Vernier, Holger Vömel, Russell S. Vose, Ray Wang, Shohei G. Watanabe, Mark Weber, Gesa A. Weyhenmeyer, David Wiese, Anne C. Wilber, Jeanette D. Wild, Takmeng Wong, R. Iestyn Woolway, Xungang Yin, Lin Zhao, Guanguo Zhao, Xinjia Zhou, Jerry R. Ziemke, and Markus Ziese
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