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Clear-sky biases in satellite infrared estimates of upper tropospheric humidity and its trends
Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
Department of Meteorology, University of Reading.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6389-1160
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2011 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 116Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We use microwave retrievals of upper tropospheric humidity (UTH) to estimate the impact of clear-sky-only sampling by infrared instruments on the distribution, variability, and trends in UTH. Our method isolates the impact of the clear-sky-only sampling, without convolving errors from other sources. On daily time scales, IR-sampled UTH contains large data gaps in convectively active areas, with only about 20-30 % of the tropics (30 degrees S-30 degrees N) being sampled. This results in a dry bias of about -9 % RH in the area-weighted tropical daily UTH time series. On monthly scales, maximum clear-sky bias (CSB) is up to -30 % RH over convectively active areas. The magnitude of CSB shows significant correlations with UTH itself (-0.5) and also with the variability in UTH (-0.6). We also show that IR-sampled UTH time series have higher interannual variability and smaller trends compared to microwave sampling. We argue that a significant part of the smaller trend results from the contrasting influence of diurnal drift in the satellite measurements on the wet and dry regions of the tropics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 116
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Space Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-14193DOI: 10.1029/2010JD015355Local ID: d8b8d86f-3333-42f8-a85d-8bfa6395c0d1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-14193DiVA: diva2:987147
Note
Validerad; 2011; Bibliografisk uppgift: Article Number: D14108 ; 20110815 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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Holl, GerritBuehler, Stefan

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