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Volume 11, issue 7 | Copyright

Special issue: Water vapour in the upper troposphere and middle atmosphere:...

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 4435-4463, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-11-4435-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 25 Jul 2018

Research article | 25 Jul 2018

The SPARC water vapour assessment II: comparison of stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour time series observed from satellites

Farahnaz Khosrawi1, Stefan Lossow1, Gabriele P. Stiller1, Karen H. Rosenlof2, Joachim Urban3,†, John P. Burrows4, Robert P. Damadeo5, Patrick Eriksson3, Maya García-Comas6, John C. Gille7,8, Yasuko Kasai9, Michael Kiefer1, Gerald E. Nedoluha10, Stefan Noël4, Piera Raspollini11, William G. Read12, Alexei Rozanov4, Christopher E. Sioris13, Kaley A. Walker14, and Katja Weigel4 Farahnaz Khosrawi et al.
  • 1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
  • 2NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Global Monitoring Division, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
  • 3Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Hörsalsvägen 11, 41296 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 4University of Bremen, Institute of Environmental Physics, Otto-Hahn-Allee 1, 28334 Bremen, Germany
  • 5NASA Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 401B, Hampton, VA 23681, USA
  • 6Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía, 18008 Granada, Spain
  • 7National Center for Atmospheric Research, Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling Laboratory, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000, USA
  • 8University of Colorado, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Boulder, CO 80309-0311, USA
  • 9National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Terahertz Technology Research Center, 4-2-1 Nukui-kita, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8795, Japan
  • 10Naval Research Laboratory, Remote Sensing Division, 4555 Overlook Avenue Southwest, Washington, DC 20375, USA
  • 11Istituto di Fisica Applicata N. Carrara Del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IFAC-CNR), Via Madonna del Piano, 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
  • 12Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
  • 13Environment and Climate Change Canada, Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate, 4905 Dufferin St., ON, M3H 5T4, Canada
  • 14University of Toronto, Department of Physics, 60 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A7, Canada
  • deceased, 14 August 2014

Abstract. Time series of stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour using 33 data sets from 15 different satellite instruments were compared in the framework of the second SPARC (Stratosphere-troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate) water vapour assessment (WAVAS-II). This comparison aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of the typical uncertainties in the observational database that can be considered in the future in observational and modelling studies, e.g addressing stratospheric water vapour trends. The time series comparisons are presented for the three latitude bands, the Antarctic (80°–70°S), the tropics (15°S–15°N) and the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes (50°–60°N) at four different altitudes (0.1, 3, 10 and 80hPa) covering the stratosphere and lower mesosphere. The combined temporal coverage of observations from the 15 satellite instruments allowed the consideration of the time period 1986–2014. In addition to the qualitative comparison of the time series, the agreement of the data sets is assessed quantitatively in the form of the spread (i.e. the difference between the maximum and minimum volume mixing ratios among the data sets), the (Pearson) correlation coefficient and the drift (i.e. linear changes of the difference between time series over time). Generally, good agreement between the time series was found in the middle stratosphere while larger differences were found in the lower mesosphere and near the tropopause. Concerning the latitude bands, the largest differences were found in the Antarctic while the best agreement was found for the tropics. From our assessment we find that most data sets can be considered in future observational and modelling studies, e.g. addressing stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour variability and trends, if data set specific characteristics (e.g. drift) and restrictions (e.g. temporal and spatial coverage) are taken into account.

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Time series of stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour using 33 data sets from 15 satellite instruments were compared in the framework of the second SPARC water vapour assessment. We find that most data sets can be considered in observational and modelling studies addressing, e.g. stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour variability and trends if data-set-specific characteristics (e.g. a drift) and restrictions (e.g. temporal and spatial coverage) are taken into account.
Time series of stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour using 33 data sets from 15...
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