Intercomparison of atmospheric water vapour measurements in the
Canadian high Arctic
Dan Weaver1, Kimberly Strong1, Matthias Schneider2, Penny M. Rowe3,4, Chris Sioris5, Kaley A. Walker1,6, Zen Mariani7, Taneil Uttal8, C. Thomas McElroy5, Holger Vömel9, Alessio Spassiani10, and James R. Drummond111Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 2Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-ASF), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany 3NorthWest Research Associates, Redmond, Washington, USA 4Department of Physics, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago, Chile 5Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, York University, Toronto, Canada 6Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 7Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Research Section, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 8Earth Systems Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, USA 9Earth Observing Laboratory, NCAR, Boulder, Colorado, USA 10School of Civil Engineering, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia 11Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Received: 04 Oct 2016 – Accepted for review: 10 Nov 2016 – Discussion started: 22 Nov 2016
Abstract. Water vapour is a critical component of the Earth system. Techniques to acquire and improve measurements of atmospheric water vapour and its isotopes are under active development. This work presents a detailed intercomparison of water vapour total column measurements taken between 2006 and 2014 at a Canadian high Arctic research site. Instruments include radiosondes, sun photometers, a microwave radiometer, and emission and solar absorption Fourier transform spectrometers (FTSs). Good agreement is observed between all combination of datasets, with correlation coefficients ≥ 0.90 showing high correlations. A variety of biases and calibration issues are revealed and discussed for all instruments.
A new FTS dataset, resulting from the MUSICA (Multi-platform remote Sensing of Isotopologues for investigating the Cycle of Atmospheric water) retrieval technique, is shown to offer accurate measurements of water vapour total columns; however, measurements show a small wet bias of approximately 6 %. A new dataset derived from Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) measurements is also shown to provide accurate water vapour measurements, which usefully enables measurements to be taken during day and night (especially valuable during Polar Night).
In addition, limited profile comparisons are conducted using radiosonde and ground-based FTS measurements. Results show MUSICA FTS profiles were within 15 % of radiosonde measurements throughout the troposphere.
Weaver, D., Strong, K., Schneider, M., Rowe, P. M., Sioris, C., Walker, K. A., Mariani, Z., Uttal, T., McElroy, C. T., Vömel, H., Spassiani, A., and Drummond, J. R.: Intercomparison of atmospheric water vapour measurements in the
Canadian high Arctic, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2016-330, in review, 2016.