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Comparing upper tropospheric humidity data from microwave satellite instruments and tropical radiosondes
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 115, no 24, D24310Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Atmospheric humidity plays an important role in the Earth's climate. Microwave satellite data provide valuable humidity observations in the upper troposphere with global coverage. In this study, we compare upper tropospheric humidity (UTH) retrieved from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-B) and the Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS) against radiosonde data measured at four of the central facilities of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program. The Atmospheric Radiative Transfer Simulator (ARTS) was used to simulate satellite brightness temperatures from the radiosonde profiles. Strong ice clouds were filtered out, as their influence on microwave measurements leads to incorrect UTH values. Day and night radiosonde profiles were analyzed separately, to take into account the radiosonde radiation bias. The comparison between radiosonde and satellite is most meaningful for data in cloud free, night time conditions, and with a time difference of less than 2 hours. We found good agreement between the two data sets. The satellite data are slightly moister than the radiosonde data, with a mean difference of 1-2.3 %RH, depending on the radiosonde site. Monthly gridded data were also compared, and showed slightly larger mean difference of up to 3.3 %RH, which can be explained by sampling issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 115, no 24, D24310
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Space Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-8505DOI: 10.1029/2010JD013962Local ID: 70556760-bbee-11df-a707-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-8505DiVA: diva2:981443
Note

Validerad; 2011; 20100909 (isamor)

Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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